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OF 
LITERATURE. SERIES II 

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TIE LIFE OF OTTO 

APOSTLE OF 
POMERANIA 
1O6O ~ 1139 

BY 
EBOANDHERBORDUS 



CHARLES HROB1NSON.DD. 









SOCIETY FOR. PROMOTING 
CHRISTIAN KNOWLEDGE. London. . 
The Macmillan Companu.l'Jen'Vorkj | 
1920 



PRINTED IN GREAT BRITAIN BY 
RICHARD CLAY & SONS, LIMITED, 
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LIFE OF OTTO 



INTRODUCTION 

THE story of Otto's missionary labours which 
gained for him the title of the apostle of Pomerania, 
constitutes one of the most striking chapters in the 
history of the evangelization of Europe, and it is not 
a little strange that this story has never been trans- 
lated or told at length in the English language. 
Although the time during which Otto laboured as 
a missionary outside his own country was com- 
paratively short, nevertheless as judged by outward 
and visible results he was the most successful of 
all the missionaries to whom the conversion of 
Europe was ultimately due. In view of the many 
and difficult problems that confront us to-day in 
the non-Christian lands where missionaries are now 
labouring, we cannot afford to neglect the light and 
the inspiration which can be obtained from a careful 
.study of the ideals, the methods and the experiences 
of the great missionaries of early and mediaeval* 
times, of whose work any detailed record has been 
preserved. 

In some instances the accounts composed by 
contemporary or nearly contemporary biographers 
are fragmentary and of doubtful value, but in the 
case of Otto we are fortunate in possessing six 
biographies all of which emanate from the district 
in which Otto lived and two at least of which may 
claim to be the work of contemporaries. 

From the accounts given by his two earliest 



M188837 



2 THE LIFE OF OTTO 

biographers, Ebo 1 and Hcrbordiis, we gather that 
Otto came from a noble Swabian family. His 
parents died when he was young, and as his brother, 
to whom they left most of their property, was 
unwilling to contribute towards his support, he 
was early thrown upon his own resources. Thus 
Herbordus writes : 

" Otto, having carefully studied the works of some 
of the poets and philosophers and having committed 
to his tenacious memory the rules of grammar and 
metre, could not afford the expense of further edu- 
cation and was unwilling to ask help from his brother, 
or other relations, having acquired a sense of shame 
and of self-respect in early youth. He accordingly 
went to Poland, where he knew that there was a lack 
of educated men, and took over a boys' school, and by 
teaching others and at the same time instructing 
himself, he gained much in a short time and was held 
in honour. He learned also the language of that 
country and adorned its literature by his teaching 
relating to thrift, frugality and purity. By these 
studies he gained the favour of all, even of the great 
and powerful, being assisted by his elegant personal 
appearance. Moreover he gave attention to social 
and personal intercourse and fitted himself to take 
part in embassies and in conversations of various 
kinds, with important persons." 2 In course of time 
he won the favour of the Duke of Poland and, after 
the death of his first wife in 1085, was instrumental 
in helping to arrange his marriage with Judith, the 
sister of the Emperor, Henry IV. After the death 
of Judith Otto went to live at Ratisbon, where the 
abbess treated him " like another Joseph " and made 
him ruler over all her house. On one occasion the 

1 In the Xllth century this name was written " Ebo" ; Andreas at 
the end of the XVth century wrote " Ebbo," and his spelling has been 
followed by some later writers. 

2 Herbordi Dialogus, III. 32 



INTRODUCTION 3 

Emperor came to stay with the abbess and, having 
become acquainted with Otto, invited him to become 
his chancellor. 1 Soon afterwards the bishopric of 
Bamberg became vacant and on Christmas Day, 1102, 
the Emperor announced the appointment of Otto to 
the vacant see. In announcing his appointment 
he stated that persons of rank and influence had 
offered him large sums of money in order to secure 
this appointment for themselves, but he had chosen 
the man who excelled all others in wisdom and 
devotion. On approaching Bamberg, although it 
was the depth of winter, Otto alighted from his horse 
and walked with bare feet to the cathedral church. 2 
He delayed his consecration as bishop for three years 
in order that he might not enter upon his duties 
until he had become fully acquainted with the con- 
ditions prevailing in his diocese, and at the close of 
1105 ne applied for consecration as bishop to Pope 
Paschal II., 3 and on Whitsunday (May 13) in the 
following year he was consecrated at Rome. 4 He 
did not enter Bamberg as bishop till the beginning 
of 1 107. Soon afterwards he began to build a 
number of new churches and monasteries, and to 
restore the monastery of St. Michael, which he en- 
riched with many gifts. This monastery was in part 
destroyed by an earthquake in 1117 and was then 
rebuilt on an enlarged scale and with great magni- 
ficence (1117-21). Many other monasteries, the 
occupants of which had become lax and irreligious, 
he endeavoured to reform. He founded altogether 
twenty new monasteries in Bamberg and other 

1 This is the account given by Ebo (I. 3), who says, however, that 
other authorities state that Otto was introduced to the Emperor by 
Judith. This latter statement is also made by Herbordus. 

2 The result of this action was that "undeet postmodum saepius 
vehementissimo podagrae dolore cruciabatur " (Ebo I. 9). 

3 Uis letter to the Pope is given in Udalrici Codex, No. 128. 

4 He visited Rome again in mo when he accompanied the Emperor 
Henry V., and on this occasion he received the pallium from the Pope. 



4 THE LIFE OF OTTO 

neighbouring dioceses. The reasons which led to his 
undertaking missionary work in Pomerania and the 
circumstances under which his work was commenced 
are described at length by his two principal bio- 
graphers, whose accounts we have translated. 

At the time in which Otto lived the inhabitants of 
Pomerania were nearly all pagans, though several 
attempts had previously been made to evangelize 
their country. In very early times Pomerania was 
inhabited by Celts who gave \vay later on to Teutons. 
These, from the beginning of the sixth century, had 
to a large extent been displaced by Slavs. The 
Polish Duke Boleslav I. conquered the country east 
of the River Oder and compelled the conquered 
people to receive representatives of the Christian 
faith. Reinbern, who was appointed bishop of 
Colberg in A.D. 1000, was of German nationality, 
and being greatly disliked by the pagan inhabitants 
was able to do but little to secure their conversion to 
Christianity. He was eventually murdered in 1015 
as he was on his way to Russia. For more than 
a century afterwards the inhabitants of Eastern 
Pomerania lived in a state of constant warfare with 
their Polish neighbours, and though each successive 
invasion of their country was followed by the com- 
pulsory baptism of a section of the people, Christianity 
continued to be regarded as the religion of their 
conquerors and made little progress amongst them. 
In 1 12 1 the Polish Duke Boleslav III. ravaged the 
country west of the River Oder with fire and sword 
and announced his intention of converting all the 
inhabitants to the Christian faith, or of destroying 
them, in the event of their refusing to be converted. 
It was at his invitation that Otto undertook his first 
missionary tour. Our respect for Otto is increased 
by the knowledge that, although physical force was 
almost always at his disposal, he never made use of 
it either to protect himself from being murdered, or to 



INTRODUCTION 5 

enforce the acceptance of his preaching. It is true 
that at Stettin and on one or two other occasions he 
reminded those to whom he preached of the material 
benefits which might result from their acceptance of 
the faith, and of the political danger which might 
befall their country if they persisted in rejecting his 
message, but he always preferred to rely upon gentler 
influences and never hesitated to run any personal 
risk, in order to promote the conversion of the people 
whom he desired to help. 

His METHODS OF ACTION 

(i) Otto deliberately attempted to appeal to the 
people of Pomerania by a display of personal wealth, 
although his own habits were ascetic and his private 
life was a model of self-denial. Several stories are 
told of his life at Bamberg which illustrate this latter 
statement. Thus, when on one occasion he received 
a valuable dress wrought with gold and silver from 
one who desired that he would wear it in remem- 
brance of him, he replied, " I will preserve the precious 
gift so carefully that neither moth shall corrupt nor 
thieves steal it," and having said this he called the 
man who superintended his wardrobe and said, " Take 
this beautiful covering which is dear to me and place 
it on that paralytic," pointing to a man who had long 
been ill, and the odour arising from whose ulcers 
was a distress to all the neighbourhood. 1 His reason 
for making a display of wealth and even of luxury 
in Pomerania was that he desired to convince the 
inhabitants that he had not undertaken the role of 
a missionary for any selfish or mercenary object 
and hoped to obtain from them in consequence a more 
respectful hearing. We may compare with his action 
that of Francis Xavier in his progress through parts 
of Japan. 

1 Cf. Canisii Lectiones Antiqua, Vol. III. lib. 3. p. 90. 



6 THE LIFE OF OTTO 

(2) In common with nearly all early and mediaeval 
missionaries Otto endeavoured to secure the con- 
version of the peoples whom he sought to influence 
by appealing in the first instance to the upper and 
better-educated classes. The principle enunciated 
by the Duke Wortizlaus during Otto's second mis- 
sionary tour was generally recognized and acted 
upon. The Duke said, " It is for us who are the 
chiefs and men of importance to have regard to 
this most deserving matter so that the people who 
are subject to us may be instructed by our example. 
For whatever religion or virtue is to be attempted, 
I say that it is more correct that it should pass from 
the head to the members than from the members 
to the head. In the primitive Church indeed, as we 
have heard, the Christian faith began with the 
common people, and spread to the middle classes, 
and then affected the chiefs of the world. Let us 
reverse the custom of the primitive Church, so that 
the holiness of the divine religion, beginning with 
us who are chiefs and passing on to the middle classes 
by an easy progress, may enlighten the whole people 
and race." 1 

This speech made by the Duke to his nobles and 
chiefs, resulted in the baptism of a large number of 
the people, but the subsequent history of Pomerania, 
as of many other countries in Europe, tended to 
show that when a religion is recommended to a 
people by those who are possessed of political power, 
its influence is unlikely to prove either deep or lasting. 

(3) Another feature of Otto's work, which the 
missionary experience of the Christian Church in 
all lands justifies us in condemning, was his readiness 
to baptize any who professed their willingness to 
accept the faith without insisting upon the need for 
careful and prolonged instruction. It would be pos- 
sible to quote instances, in many different countries, 

1 Herbordi Dialogus, III. 3. 



INTRODUCTION 7 

where missionaries have worked in ancient, mediaeval, 
and modern times, which tend to prove that the 
policy of baptizing any who desire to be baptized 
in the hope that they may later on learn to appreciate 
the significance of baptism is a policy that can only 
result in the creation of a superficial Christianity, 
and which will render impossible, at least for many 
generations, the development of a strong branch of 
the Christian Church. One instance of the policy 
adopted by Otto is afforded by the occurrence that 
took place at Pyritz where, according to Ebo, Otto 
baptized 7,000 converts after a preparation lasting 
only twenty days. In Stettin, where he remained 
for three months, he left behind him 22,156 men who 
had been baptized. It is uncertain whether this 
number included women or children. 1 

(4) Yet another reason which helps to explain 
why the Church founded by Otto failed to develop 
on satisfactory lines after his death, or to become 
the Church of the people, is supplied by his failure 
to arrange for the training of any Pomeranian clergy, 
and his reliance upon German clergy who, in customs, 
dispositions, and language, differed widely from those 
to whom they ministered. The only reference to the 
provision of a native clergy occurs in Otto's speech 
at Pyritz as reported by Herbordus (II. 18) in which 
he says, " I exhort and invite you, for it is not right 
that I should use force, to hand over some of your 
children to perform the office of the priesthood after 
they have received a liberal education and have 1 
been carefully taught, so that, like other races, ye 
may have clergy and priests speaking your own 
tongue and conversant with Latin." No attempt 
appears to have been made either by Otto or his 
successors to carry into effect the policy here indi- 
cated. He did not himself learn the Pomeranian lan- 
guage but was entirely dependent upon the services of 

1 See Vita Ebonis, II. ii. 



8 THE LIFE OF OTTO 

an interpreter. Moreover he took no steps to provide 
a translation of the Bible in the Pomeranian language. 
The large measure of success that he attained 
was due to his courage, his faith and his humility. 
Again and again he showed himself ready to face 
death in order that he might preach the gospel to 
those who had rejected his first advances, and his 
chief regret in connection with his work in Pomerania 
was that he had failed to win a martyr's crown. In 
the darkest hour of his campaigns, when many who 
had been baptized had apostatized, and when the 
courage of his companions failed, his faith in God 
continued unshaken. Lastly his humility, which is 
illustrated by his readiness to accept rebuffs and 
to endure insults and privations, appealed to his 
fierce auditors and endeared him not a little to his 
companions and fellow-workers. 



MIRACLES ATTRIBUTED TO OTTO 

It is interesting to note that although the two 
earliest biographies of Otto were written whilst many 
who had known him intimately were still living, and 
although the writers had access to some who had 
accompanied Otto throughout his missionary jour- 
neys, they both record a number of miracles, some 
of which are attributed to Otto and some to his 
companions. Those attributed to Otto are for the 
most part miracles performed for the benefit of the 
sick, whilst those attributed to his companions resulted 
in the death of those who refused to listen to their 
teaching and on whom they had invoked divine 
vengeance. Our unwillingness to accept as credible 
these latter miracles weakens the appeal of the 
former which are recorded by the same writers. 

Wulfram II., abbot of St. Michael's, writing fifty 
years after the death of Otto, composed a further 



INTRODUCTION 9 

account of miracles which were said to have occurred 
at the tomb of Otto. His account was composed 
in order that it might be submitted to Pope Clement 
III., to support the request that Otto might be 
canonized. This is given in Mon. Germ. SS. XII. 
911-16, also in Mon. Bambergensia, pp. 836-41. 
Otto's canonization took place in 1189. 



LIVES OF OTTO 

The importance of the work accomplished by Otto 
may, to some extent, be inferred from the fact that 
at least three lives were issued within a few years 
of his death. To these we may add three additional 
biographies published later and founded upon the 
former. The six lives are 

1. Life of Otto, written by Ebo. 

2. A dialogue concerning Otto bishop of Bamberg 
by Herbordus. 

3. Life of Otto, by a monk of the Prufling 
monastery. 

4. A short Life of Otto founded on that of Ebo. 

5. Life of Otto by an anonymous writer. 

6. Life of Otto by Andreas, Abbot of Michelsberg 
Much controversy has arisen in regard to the 

relative dates and values of the first three lives. 
Klempin, a German critic, maintained that the Life 
of Herbordus should be placed first in respect both 
of its date of publication and its value as history. 
This view was supported by Koepke in 1853, but, 
in a later work published by him in I868, 1 he 
abandoned his former opinion and maintained that 
Ebo was the earlier writer, and that Herbordus had 
his work before him when he composed his Dialogue. 

1 See Herbordi Dialogs de vita Ottonis ex recensione Rndolfi Kopke, 
edited by Pertz, Hanover, 1868. 



io THE LIFE OF OTTO 

This latter view is supported by Jaffe x and by 
Juritsch, 2 and is now generally accepted. 

In regard to 3, Giesebrecht 3 has endeavoured to 
show that it is the oldest of the existing lives, but 
nearly all other critics support the view that the 
unknown monk belonging to the Prlifling monastery 
based his Life upon the Lives of Ebo and Herbordus. 4 
This view is not inconsistent with the supposition 
that he supplemented the information that he derived 
from their works by information obtained from men 
who had been personally acquainted with Otto. His 
work contains hardly any information which is not 
also found in the Lives by Ebo and Herbordus. 

The Life of Ebo 5 was probably written in 1151, 
that by Herbordus in 1158, and that by the Priifling 
monk a few years later. 

Dr. Georg Haag, in an article entitled "Beitrage 
zur Ouellenkritik der Lebenbeschreibungen des Bis- 
chofs Otto I. von Bamberg," 6 also maintains that 
the Life by the monk of Priifling is the earliest of 
the three. He succeeds in showing that the theory 
that all three were to a large extent indebted to 
a common source is untenable. 

This Life of Otto is printed in Mon. Germ. SS. 
XII. 883-903 under the title of " Monachi Prieflin- 
gensis vita Ottonis." 

Ebo 7 does not claim to have had any actual 

1 See Monument a Bambergensia, edited by Philippus Jaffe, Berlin, 
1869, pp. 580-7. 

2 Geschichte des Bischofs Otto I. von Bamberg des Pommern Apostels, 
by Georg Juritsch, Gotha, 1889, pp. 1-9. 

3 Wendische Geschichte, III. p. 340 f. 

4 See "Die Biographien des Bischofs Otto," by Klempin in Bal- 
tische Studien, IX. 147-191 ; Koepke, XII. p. 742 ; Jaffe, p. 703. 

5 See Qiielle, Gewdhrsmann und Alter der altesten Lebensbeschrei- 
biuig des Pommernaposlels Otto von Bamberg. Pub. at Halle, 1874. 

6 ""See Forschungen zur Deutschen Geschichte^ XVIII. S.S. 242-64, 
Gottingen, 1878. 

7 The name of Otto's biographer appears as Ebo in the Necrology 
of S. Michaelis written in the Xllth century. Andreas the Abbot of 
St. Michael's monastery writing at the close of the XVth century spells 
it Ebbo. 



INTRODUCTION n 



intercourse with Otto, though he may quite possibly 
have had as he was apparently in the monastery 
of St. Michael when Otto died there. 1 He claims 
to have received much of his information from 
Udalricus, who had been the intimate friend and 
companion of Otto. 

Ebo died May 16, 1163. 

Herbordus, who died in 1168, became a member 
of St. Michael's monastery in 1145. Although he 
was certainly acquainted with Ebo's Life he never 
once alludes either to him or to his work. His 
reticence is probably to be explained by the fact 
that after the death of Otto grievous discords arose 
within the monastery, and as a result of the oppo- 
sition raised by Herbordus and other monks, the 
Abbot Helmericus was compelled to resign (1160). 
It is probable that Ebo had sided with Helmericus, 
and that for this reason Herbordus treated him and 
his work with contempt. Herbordus had not himself 
seen Otto. 2 

In his second book, i. e. in his description of Otto's 
first missionary journey, he was able to provide 
information obtained from various sources and was 
independent of Ebo's work. In this book it would 
seem as though he had purposely avoided referring 
to the incidents that are narrated by Ebo. In writing 
his third book his independent sources of information 
were much more limited and his narrative shows 
signs of having been copied from, or suggested by 
that of Ebo. In some cases he has copied words 
and phrases from his predecessor. 3 In other instances 
he would appear to have been dependent upon Ebo 

1 Cf. Vita III. 25. Quam (visionem) tempore dormitionis beatissimi 
patris nostri ex ore ejusdem senioris Lyppoldi audivimus. 

2 Ipsum autem in carne non vidi. 

3 Compare Ebo III. 10, legati marchionis Adelberti . . . super- 
venere, with the similar statement in Herbordus III. 8 : or evangelicum 
. . . de evangelio vivere . . . sumptibus, in Ebo III. 9, with similar 
words in Herb. III. 8. 



12 THE 'LIFE OF OTTO 

for his information but to have deliberately intro- 
duced changes, or made additions which are almost 
certainly incorrect. His lack of local knowledge is 
shown by the fact that he describes Ucrania as an 
island. 

4. During the last decade of the twelfth century 
a short Life founded directly on that by Ebo was 
published l in order to be circulated at Rome. A 
number of alterations which appear in this Life were 
introduced in order to show that Otto was much 
more subservient to the Bishop of Rome than is 
suggested in Ebo's Life. 

5. A Life which reproduces almost word for word 
the Life of Herbordus, but which substitutes a con- 
tinuous narrative for the dialogue form adopted by 
Herbordus, was issued later by an anonymous writer, 
soon after iiSg. 2 

6. The Life compiled by Andreas, Abbot of St. 
Michael's monastery (1483-1502) was prepared at 
the request of Benedict, Bishop of Camin. 3 It 
furnishes no additional information concerning Otto's 
work in Pomerania. 

We must also mention a poem entitled " Commen- 
datio pii Ottonis " which was composed probably in 
St. Michael's monastery soon after the publication 
of the first three lives and was founded on them. 4 

Several letters addressed by Otto to various persons 
are also extant. 5 

The present volume consists of the second and 

1 See work entitled "Ebo coarctatus " in the Ada Sanctorum for 
July 2, Tom. i, pp. 425-49. 

2 This Life is given by Canisius, in his Thesaurus monumentorum 
ecclesiasticorttm, Ed. 1725, Tom. III. Pars II. pp. 37-96, also in the 
Acta S. S. for July 2, pp. 378-425. 

3 This Life is given in the Acta S.S. for July 2, pp. 456-65. 

4 For an account of this poem see Koepke, p. 910 f. and Klempin, 
Bait. Stud. IV. p. 236. Kiempin considers that this poem may be 
older than any of the existing lives. 

5 See Epistolte et diploniata Oltonis, Migne, P.L., vol. 173. Mign 
also gives the long address delivered by Otto at Pyritz, 



INTRODUCTION 13 

third books of Ebo's Life of Otto, which refer to Otto's 
missionary labours in Pomerania. Book I., which 
begins with an account of Otto's early days which I 
have here summarized, consists largely of a detailed 
account of the founding of St. Michael's monastery 
at Bamberg, and throws little light upon Otto's life 
and character. 

Where Herbordus supplies information relating to 
Otto's work in Pomerania which is not given by Ebo 
I have added this to the text, indicating the source 
from which it comes by placing it in brackets. In his 
second book Herbordus supplies a large amount of 
material which is not found in Ebo's Life, but his 
third book contains comparatively little information 
which is not given by Ebo. In a few instances in 
which Ebo and Herbordus both describe the same 
incident and in which the account given by Herbordus 
is fuller and more picturesque than that given by 
Ebo, I have inserted both. I have referred in foot- 
notes to the very few statements made by the Priifling 
monk which are not found in Ebo or Herbordus. 



MANUSCRIPTS 

The best MS. of Ebo's Life of Otto is preserved in 
the University Library of Erlangen 248 (K.m. 142), 
and dates from the end of the Xllth or the beginning 
of the XHIth century. 

The Codex Bambergensis, Rf. II. 17, preserved at 
Stettin, which was written in 1499, contains the greater 
part of the Dialogue by Herbordus, and the Codex 
Monacensis 23582 (ZZ. 582), written in the XlVth 
century, also preserved at Stettin, contains the whole 
of the Dialogue. The text which appears in the 
Mon. Germ. S.S. XX. 704-69 is taken from this 
manuscript. 



14 THE LIFE OF OTTO 

The earliest MS. of the anonymous Life, which was 
apparently compiled from the Dialogue of Herbordus, 
is the Codex Monacensis 14,726 (S. Emmerammi 
Ratisbonensis 726), which was written at the end of 
the Xllth century. 

The Life by Andreas is contained in the Codex 
Caminensis preserved in the library at Stettin. It 
was written in 1487. It is also contained in the 
Codex Bambergcnsis, Rf. II. 17, preserved in Berlin, 
which was written in 1499. 

The Life entitled " Ebo coarctatus," which is given 
in the Acta Sanctorum and was written for circulation 
in Rome, is found in the Codex Halesbrunnensis 248 
preserved at Erlangen, which dates from the end of 
the Xllth, or the beginning of the XHIth century. 



BIBLIOGRAPHY 

Ottonis Vita, by Ebo, is given in the fifth volume 
of the Bibliotheca Rerum Germanicarum, edited by 
P. Jafife. Berlin, 1869. 

Dialogus de vita Ottonis Episcopi Babenbergensis, 
by Herbordus Scholasticus Montis St. Michaelis 
Babenbergensis. This is given in the same volume 
as the preceding. 

Ottonis Vita auctore monacho Prieflingensi is given 
in the Mon. Germ. S.S. edited by Koepke, Vol. XII. 
822-83; a l so m Vol. III. of Canisii Lectiones anti- 
quae. It is also given in the Acta S.S. 

Sancti Ottonis Epistolae et Diplomata interims- 
centur variorum ad ipsum lit ferae. Migne, Pat. Lat. 
CLXXIII. 1313-56. These include two letters ad- 
dressed in 1103 and 1106 by Otto to Paschal II.; a 
letter addressed to the Church at Bamberg in 1106 
announcing his consecration at Rome and soliciting 
their help and prayers; three letters written in 1119, 
1 121, and 1 1 23, relating to the building of St. Michael's 



BIBLIOGRAPHY 15 

monastery, and several other letters referring to the 
building or restoration of other monasteries. Migne 
also gives the sermon preached by Bishop Embrico 
of Wurzburg, on the occasion of Otto's funeral. 

Andreae abbatis Bambergensis de Vita S. Ottonis, 
edited by Gretserus. Ingolstadt, 1737. 

MACLEAR, G. F. : Apostles of Mediceval Europe. 
Macmillan, 1869. Chap. XIII. pp. 216-39, is en- 
titled " Bishop Otto, the Apostle of Pomerania." 

ROBINSON, C. H. : The Conversion of Europe. 
Longmans, 1917. See pp. 36, 398-422. 

LOOSI-IORN : GescJiichte des Bistuins Bamberg, Vol. 
II. Munich, 1888. 

Ju KITSCH, GEO. : Geschichte des Bischofs Otto I 
von B amber g des Pommern Apostels, 1 102-39. Goth a, 
1889. 

FRANZ XAVIER SULZBECK : Lcben des heiligen 
Otto Biscliofs von Bamberg und Apostels den Pom- 
mern. Regensburg, 1865. 

Die Biographien des Bischofs Otto, by Klempin, 
in "Baltische Studien," IX. pp. 1-245. 

WlESSENER : Geschichte der Christlichen Kirche 
in Pommern. Berlin, 1889. 

HAUCK : Kirchengeschichte Deutschlands, Vol. IV. 
pp. 57I-S7. Leipzig, 1904. 

Realencyclopddie fur protestantiscJie Theologie und 
Kirche. Gotha, 1896-1909. See art. on Otto by 
Hauck. 



BOOK II 

I. THE world was getting old and the age was 
drawing to a close when Divine compassion deter- 
mined to enlighten with the lustre of the faith the 
Pomeranians, who had hitherto been submerged in 
the errors of heathenism ; even as it is written, " The 
gospel must first be preached to all nations " ; l and 
sent to them an apt minister of the Word, the pious 
bishop Otto. He was one who, being intent on 
winning souls, expanded like the morning star in the 
midst of a cloud, and glittered even as the full moon, 
and shone forth like the sun amongst his fellow 
bishops. 2 

[H. II. I. The derivation of the word Pomerania 
appears to indicate the nature of its name and 
situation. For Pommo in the Slavonic language is 
equivalent to near, or around, and Moriz is equivalent 
to sea. Hence the word Pomerizania denotes that 
which is situated near or round about the sea. This 
country, if we have regard to its situation both in the 
swamps and in the parts overflowed by the sea, and in 
the low-lying ground, can be described as triangular, 
inasmuch as on three sides three lines which join 
together at their extremities make three angles, one of 
which is more obtuse than the others ; the line forming 

1 St. Mark xiii. 10. 

2 Cf. Ecclesiasticus 1. 6,7. " He (Simon the high priest) was as the 
morning star in the midst of a cloud and as the moon at the full, as the 
sun shining upon the temple of the most High." 



i8- ' i'E (r LIFE OF OTTO 

Xhis an^le sa : ^ti:hds<'t;'o,L'euticia and towards Saxony 
and' bends' back 'again towards the north and the sea. 
Accordingly Pomerania on its sea front is contiguous 
to Dacia and the small but populous island of Rugia, 
and above it on the north is Flavia (Livonia) and 
Prussia and Ruscia. In front, that is in the direction 
of the dry land, it faces at one point the adjacent 
territories of Hungary and Moravia. It has then 
Polonia as its neighbour for a long space as far as the 
confines of Leuticia and Saxony. The Pomeranian 
people being skilled fighters both by land and sea and 
being used to live by loot and spoils, and owing to 
their natural fierceness having never been conquered, 
were far removed from Christian faith and refinement. 
Their country is extremely fertile and furnishes an 
abundance of fish and of wild beasts and of all kinds 
of grains and spelt. No country abounds more in 
honey, and none is richer in pasture and grass. Its 
inhabitants neither possess nor desire wine, but their 
honeyed drinks and carefully prepared beer surpass 
even the wines of Falernum. Of these we shall speak 
later on, but we have now to explain, what is a matter 
of surprise to many, why these men who are so far 
removed from Eastern France and from the Church 
of Bamberg and in fact from almost the entire world, 
were unable to obtain from the nearer kingdoms or 
Churches baptism, or any preacher other than the 
Bishop of Bamberg. This fruit was granted to him 
by God for the increase of his happiness. 

II. At the time when the Bishop of Bamberg was 
ruling the Church of that place, Bolezlaus, a vigorous 
and prudent man distinguished by his ancient and 
noble ancestry, was administering the dukedom of 
Polonia. By conducting himself with diligence and 
foresight he succeeded in recovering with a strong arm 
the territories on the borders of his own country, 
which in the time of his predecessors had been invaded 
and ravaged by enemies, together with the camps and 



FIRST MISSIONARY TOUR 19 

towns which had been forcibly detached from his 
rule.] 

To those who desire to know how it was that Otto 
became an apostle (to Pomerania) I will reveal that 
which I heard from the mouth of Udalricus, the servant 
of God and priest of the church of the blessed Egidius, 
which was built by Otto. The ripeness of his character 
and his fidelity both to God and to man compel me 
to believe him though I have not seen with my own 
eyes the things of which he speaks. 

He said that there was a bishop named Bernhard, 
endued with marvellous sanctity and knowledge, who 
was a Spaniard by race, but had been chosen and 
consecrated as a bishop at Rome. For some time 
he had lived the life of a hermit together with other 
servants of God, but, after that a certain heretical 
bishop had been deposed from his office at Rome, he 
was brought by the will of God from the desert and 
chosen as his successor. When he saw that his Church 
was torn by a dreadful schism inasmuch as one half 
of it supported him, whilst the other half supported 
the bishop who had been deposed, being a prudent 
and learned man, he considered that God was not to be 
found where counsels were divided. Accordingly he 
perceived that some concession must be made to the 
occasion and the evil times and, after laying aside 
his pastoral care, he contemplated returning to the 
desert, as he himself declared in the word of Athanasius, 1 
" If this storm has arisen because of me, take me and 
cast me into the sea." When then he heard that 
Pomerania was still addicted to the errors of heathen- 
ism, being armed with holy zeal, he turned aside from 
his purpose in order to preach the Gospel there. His 
desire was that he might either unite its people by 

1 The words quoted should be attributed to Gregory of Nazianzus and 
were spoken at the Synod of Constantinople in 381 : see Gregorii Naz. 
Carmen de vita sua vv. 1839-41. 



20 THE LIFE OF OTTO 

faith to the Catholic Church, or that he might obtain 
the glory of martyrdom and lay down his life on 
behalf of Christ. For he despised this present life 
and was wont to treat his body with the utmost 
severity, being content with a little dry food, and 
drinking nothing but water. 

He went accordingly to the Duke of Polonia x and 
was received by him with honour as a servant of God. 
When he had explained to him the object of his 
journey the Duke said that he rejoiced to behold his 
ardent zeal, but the ferocity of this nation was so 
great that it would kill him rather than submit to 
the yoke of the faith. The bishop replied with a firm 
voice that he had come for this purpose and that, if 
need should arise, he was prepared to receive unhesi- 
tatingly sentence of death for the love of Christ. The 
Duke, overjoyed at his response, gave him an inter- 
preter and a guide as he desired, and prayed that 
God would give him success. 

Though a bishop he was careful to retain both 
humility and poverty, for he knew that the kingdom 
of the Devil was destroyed by the humility, and not 
by the power of Christ, and that whoso shares his 
poverty with Christ has sufficient riches, and he entered 
the city of Julin 2 dressed in a despicable garment and 
with bare feet, and there strove with diligence to 
scatter the seeds of the catholic faith. The citizens, 
who despised him on account of his bodily appearance, 
for they knew not how to judge save by outward 
appearance, asked who he was or by whom he had 
been sent. He declared that he was the servant of 
the true God, the Maker of heaven and earth, and 
had been sent by Him in order that he might lead 
them from the error of idolatry into the way of truth. 
They, however, replied with indignation, " How can 
we believe that you are the messenger of the supreme 
God ? Whereas He is full of glory and endowed with 

1 Boleslav III. 2 Also written Wollin. 



FIRST MISSIONARY TOUR 21 

all wealth, you are despicable and are so poor that 
you cannot even provide shoes for your feet. We 
will not receive you nor listen to you. For the 
supreme God would never send to us so abject a 
messenger, but, if He really desired our conversion, 
He would visit us by sending a fit person who would 
worthily represent His power. If then you have any 
regard for your life, return as quickly as possible to 
the place from which you came and cease to do 
despite to the supreme God by pretending that you 
have bee-n sent by Him, for it is only to relieve your 
poverty that you have come hither." Bernhard, who 
became bolder and more steadfast as danger drew 
near, said, " If you do not believe my words, believe 
my works. Set fire to some house that has collapsed 
through old age and is not of use to anyone, and 
throw me into the midst : if, when the house has 
been consumed by the flames, I shall come out from 
the fire uninjured, then know that I have been sent 
by Him to whose rule fire and every created thing is 
subject, and whom all the elements serve." The 
priests and elders of the people, when they heard this, 
conferred together and said, " This is a foolish and 
desperate person who, constrained by excessive 
poverty, seeks death and goes of his own accord to 
meet it. We are beset by his villainy, which seeks 
to exact vengeance because he has been rejected by us, 
and to involve us in his own destruction. For if one 
house is set on fire, the destruction of the whole city 
must follow. We ought therefore to take care and 
not to listen to one who is of unsound mind ; nor is 
it wise for us to kill a barefooted stranger. For our 
brothers, the Prussians, some years ago 1 killed one 
named Adalbert, who preached like this man, and as 
a result oppression and misfortune overtook them 
and all that they possessed was destroyed. If then 
we desire to consider our own interest, we shall do 

1 One hundred and twenty-five years before, i.e. in 997. 



22 THE LIFE OF OTTO 

this man no injury but expel him from our territory 
and, having placed him on board a ship, make him 
cross the sea to some other land." Meanwhile Bern- 
hard, the servant of God, inflamed with the desire 
of martyrdom, seized an axe and attempted to cut 
down an immense column which was dedicated to 
Julius Caesar, from whom the city of Ju.lin took its 
name. The pagans would not permit this, and rushing 
upon him with great anger struck him in cruel fashion 
and left him half dead. When they had departed a 
monk named Peter came running to Bernhard and 
gave him his hand, whereupon Bernhard arose, and, 
after regaining his strength, began again to declare 
the word of salvation to the people. But the priests 
drew him with insolence from amongst the people 
and placed him with his monk and interpreter on his 
own boat, saying, "If you have so great a desire to 
preach, preach to the fishes of the sea and the fowls 
of the air, and beware that you presume not to cross 
the boundary of our land, for there is not a single 
person who will receive you." Bernhard in accordance 
with the gospel command shook off the dust of his 
feet against them and returned to the Duke of 
Polonia, and told him with tears what had befallen 
him. The Duke said to him, " Did I not tell you 
before that the Pomeranians would by no means 
accept the faith ? You should not therefore make 
trial of their snarling folly, for they are profane and 
unworthy of the word of salvation." The bishop 
replied, " They are animals and are altogether 
ignorant of spiritual gifts, and so they judge a man 
only by his outward appearance. Me they rejected 
on the ground of my poverty, but if some influential 
preacher, whose honour and wealth they would respect, 
were to go to them, I expect that they would of their 
own accord submit to the yoke of Christ." During 
several days the Duke rendered due reverence to the 
servant of God, and whilst he furnished him with the 



FIRST MISSIONARY TOUR 23 

means of subsistence, the words which Bernhard spoke 
helped to nourish his own spiritual life. Meanwhile 
a Court Council was held in the city of Bamberg, 1 
where the worthy Bishop Bernhard met the principal 
men of the kingdom who had come together, to all 
of whom he seemed as one who had attained to the 
perfection of knowledge, wisdom, and all other 
virtues. For the venerable priest, Heimo, who was 
a canon of the church of St. James, and has left us 
many monuments of his ability, learnt from this 
servant of Christ the art of calculation which, as 
practised by his ordinary companions, he had found 
to be obscure and intricate, not to say false, lie 
conferred with him carefully concerning the years 
that elapsed between the beginning of the world and 
the death of Christ, and again between the time 
of Christ and our own time, for he knew that the 
reckoning of the common chronologies in no way 
harmonized with the true and authoritative statements 
contained in the gospels. Accordingly our venerable 
brother Hcimo, who was the author of some remark- 
able works, writes in the prologue of one of his books 
concerning Bernhard, " Blessed be God Almighty, for 
by this man He hath granted to me to hear and 
to learn many things of which I was before ignorant, 
which related not only to chronology but to the 
mysteries and rules relating to the observance of 
Easter and to other questions that arose between us." 
Udalricus, a holy priest of the Church of St. 
Egidius, on whom Bernhard the man of God had 
bestowed the favour of his friendship, when questioned 
by him respecting our order and our intercourse, 
replied that the former use of this monastery which 
was in accordance with the Amerbacensian rule, had 
been lax and irreligious, but that the spiritual and 
godly Hirsaugiensian order had been established 
here by the blessed bishop Otto, with the help of our 

1 November n, 1122. 



24 THE LIFE OF OTTO 

beloved father Wulfram, who was the tenth abbot of 
this place. He said also that from that time the 
object of the monastic life in this monastery had 
been so perfectly fulfilled that there was a good odour 
of Christ in every place. 1 On hearing this Bishop 
Bernhard stretched out both his hands to heaven, and 
with many tears rendered thanks to God, and ever 
afterwards he entertained the deepest affection for 
this place. Moreover at a meeting of the brothers, 
he laid aside his episcopal dress and put on the 
monastic habit ; by his fatherly advice also he 
afforded such help to the Abbot Wulfram, of blessed 
memory, that he rendered great thanks to the priest 
Udalricus for having introduced to him so estimable 
a man. In addition to the good and pious advice 
that he offered he would frequently urge that, when 
a pastor had to be chosen in this place, we should by 
constant prayer and fasting ask God to reveal to us a 
fit person, and that we should realize that no one 
whose name had not been revealed to us by God 
would prove in all respects serviceable to us. 

II. The holy Otto, who was aware of the wide- 
spread report concerning his sanctity and concerning 
the unique zeal with which he had preached to the 
pagans, received him with due respect and asked 
many questions concerning his journey and concern- 
ing the condition of the Pomeranian people. Bern- 
hard, as he unfolded his story, perceived that the holy 
Otto was ready for every good work ; and, making 
use of persuasive words, as though he were pouring 
oil upon a fire, he said 

" I was indeed mindful, honoured father, of the 
word spoken by the Lord when He sent out His 
disciples to preach, * Take no bag, nor wallet, nor 
shoes,' and in attempting the task of preaching I 
became so poor that I would not even make use of 
shoes. But that race, which is so devoted to folly 

1 Cf. 2 Cor. ii. 14, 15. 



FIRST MISSIONARY TOUR 25 

and so completely ignorant of the truth, when it per- 
ceived my poverty and my despicable appearance, 
concluded that I had come thither not out of love for 
Christ, but simply on account of my own poverty, and, 
disdaining to hear from my mouth the words of salva- 
tion, drove me away. If, therefore, beloved father, 
you would make any impression upon the dull feelings 
of these barbarians, you must go to them accompanied 
by a distinguished band of fellow workers and servants, 
and with an abundant supply of food and of clothing. 

" Those then who with unbridled neck spurned the 
yoke of humility will reverence the display of wealth 
and will submit themselves. You must be careful not 
to show desire for anything that they possess, and if 
they offer anything you must give back more than 
you receive, in order that they may understand that 
it is not to secure filthy lucre, but only from love of 
God, that you have undertaken the task of preaching 
to them. Be strong therefore and of a good heart, 
for you will lead a great multitude of people into the 
true land of promise. And be not discouraged by 
the hard and unaccustomed labour that awaits you, 
for the more difficult the fight the more glorious will 
be the crown." 

The heart of Otto was inflamed by the advice 
offered by this blessed man, even as iron is heated by 
the fire, and he desired above everything that, as a 
messenger of Christ, he might undertake this journey. 

Meanwhile his brother hermits had sought Bern- 
hard in many different places, and when at length 
they found him with us they escorted him back to 
their own place with joy and admiration. It was on 
this occasion that the holy Otto came forward to 
undertake the evangelization of Pomerania. By the 
help of God we will now set forth in a suitable manner 
the method which he adopted and the fruit which he 
secured. 

(After referring to the wars waged by force and 



26 THE LIFE OF OTTO 

fraud against the Ruthenians and other neighbouring 
tribes by the Duke of Polonia, Herbordus goes on to 
to say ) 

[H. V. He began to ravage and devastate Pomer- 
ania, and, inasmuch as its people were pagans, the 
Duke endeavoured to destroy them or, as an alterna- 
tive, to force them to become Christians. But they, 
relying upon their own resources, as they had many 
cities and camps on their borders which had been 
strengthened by nature and art, regarded themselves 
as secure and having collected all their goods in 
their cities endeavoured to arrange garrisons for 
them. But inasmuch as it pleased God to destroy 
some of the cities in order that He might convert the 
inhabitants of the others to the true faith, He gave 
to Bolezlaus skill and resources wherewith to attack 
them, and on several occasions he massacred large 
numbers of the people. 

The city of Stettin, which was the chief city of 
Pomerania, was surrounded on all sides by marshes 
and water, and was thought to be inaccessible to a 
hostile force, but the. Duke led his army in the winter 
time over the ice not without risk, and overwhelmed 
the city with unimaginable slaughter. The city of 
Nacla also, which was strongly fortified, he destroyed 
and burnt, and devastated by fire and sword the 
whole of the surrounding district, so that in many 
places, even after a lapse of three years, the ruins and 
charred remains of corpses were still clearly visible. 
So completely were the inhabitants subdued by the 
destruction of these cities, that those whom the Duke 
allowed to survive slaughter and captivity were glad 
to be allowed to swear that they would become 
Christians, and be the tributaries of the Duke. 

It is said that he slaughtered eighteen thousand 
armed men and that he led away as captives to his 
own country eight thousand men together with their 



FIRST MISSIONARY TOUR 27 

wives and little children, and placed them in positions 
exposed to danger as well as in cities and camps, that 
they might serve as a guard to his country and might 
help him to wage war with his foreign enemies. An 
additional condition was that they should abandon 
their idols and conform in all respects to the 
Christian religion. 

When the Duke was concerned to convert to the 
Christian faith some members of their perfidious race 
whom he had allowed to continue as tributaries in 
their own land, he assembled all the bishops of his 
own country, but was unable to persuade anyone of 
them to go thither and to extend the light of life to 
those who were sitting in darkness and the shadow of 
death. 1 Each bishop put forward a different excuse, 
and so the preaching of the faith was delayed for 
three years. 

VI. At length, having been admonished by God, 
he decided to invite to undertake this task Otto the 
bishop of Bamberg, whose fame had spread abroad 
throughout his kingdom, and whom in his early 
youth his own father had held dear. He thought 
that the time was opportune for him to renew his 
former friendship with so great a person and to 
impose upon this holy man the obligation involved 
in so sacred a work. He sent, therefore, ambassadors 
and gifts and wrote a letter to the following effect. 

To the Venerable Bishop Otto, his lord and be- 
loved father, Bolezlaus, the Duke of Polonia, proffers 
his filial respect and humble devotion. Forasmuch 
as I remember that in the days of thy youth thou 
didst live at my father's court in honour and credit, 
and forasmuch as the Lord is now with thee 
strengthening and blessing thee in all thy ways, if 
it be agreeable to thee I desire to renew our former 
friendship and to make use of thy counsel and 
assistance, so that by the help of His grace we may 

1 Ps. cvii. 10. 



28 THE LIFE OF OTTO 

promote the glory of God. For thou knowest, I 
think, how the rude barbarians in Pomerania who 
have been brought low, not by my power but by 
the power of God, are now seeking to be admitted 
into the Church by the washing of baptism. For 
three years I have been striving without result, 
because I cannot induce any bishops or suitable 
priests near at hand to undertake the work. On 
this account and because thy readiness to undertake 
all good works is well known, I pray, beloved father, 
that it may please thee with our humble assistance 
to undertake this task for the glory of God and the 
increase of thy happiness. I, thy devoted servant, 
will provide all expenses and companions for the 
journey, both interpreters and assistant priests and 
whatever else is needed if you, holy father, will deign 
to come. 

VII. On hearing this message the bishop was 
filled with great joy and gave thanks to Almighty 
God, as though the voice of God had spoken to 
him direct from heaven, because He had deigned to 
make use of his ministry for so important a matter.] 

III. Inasmuch as Otto knew that everything in 
a house is controlled by the head of the house, he 
perceived that this difficult task ought not to be 
entered upon without the authority of the Bishop 
of Rome, and accordingly he sent messengers of 
distinction to the Apostolic Feather Calixtus and 
obtained from him permission to evangelize the 
people of Pomerania. 

[H. VII. As he had heard that Pomerania was 
a wealthy land and possessed no poor people or 
beggars, but greatly despised such, and that its 
inhabitants had already shown their contempt for 
certain poor and indigent preachers, believing that 
,they had undertaken the task of preaching in order 



FIRST MISSIONARY TOUR 29 

to relieve their own wants, and not in order to save 
men, he took special care to appear before them, 
not merely as a well-to-do man, but as one possessed 
of riches and as one who desired to win for God 
not their wealth but themselves. Accordingly he 
secured suitable clergy and made abundant provision 
for their journey. For fear lest, as a faithful culti- 
vator, he should appear to go forth into God's field 
without proper implements, by his foresight and 
liberality he arranged to have carried with him 
missals and other books, together with the priestly 
vestments required for the altar which, as he knew, 
could not suddenly be secured amongst a pagan 
people. Garments also and expensive cloths and 
other gifts suitable for nobles and rich men did this 
guileless and prudent evangelist take for his journey, 
so that he might not appear to preach in order to 
relieve his own poverty, but might seem to be giving 
to the new plantation rather than to be seeking 
anything from it.] 

At this time he consecrated the church of the 
Holy Virgin, Walburga, in the Altenberg mountain. 1 
It was here that he first declared to the holy priest 
Udalricus the intention that he had formed to go 
to visit the pagans. He said to him, " Although I 
have much urgent business both public and private 
in these parts, the love of Christ constrains me to 
attempt immediately the difficult task of going as 
a messenger to the Pomeranians, in order that I may 
spread the glory of His name. I will cither draw 
these idolaters into the way of the true faith, or 
will myself submit to death on behalf of Him who, 
though innocent, deigned to die for us. My first 
task, therefore, is to secure companions and fellow- 
workers possessed of like fervour and constancy, who 
will tread underfoot all worldly prospects and will 

1 Near the to-.vn of Bamberg. 



36 ME LIFE OF OTTO 

be ready to submit to death, should it come to them, 
for the sake of Christ. 

" For the carrying out of this object I regard thee, 
my best beloved brother and fellow-priest, as specially 
fitted, and besides thee Werinher the priest from 
Erenbach, who is distinguished for his wisdom and 
piety. We have also as an interpreter Adalbert, who 
is acquainted with the language of the barbarians. 
Take then a respite of seven days in which to 
consider the matter and decide like a good athlete, 
and then tell me what the Holy Spirit shall inspire 
you to say." 

Udalricus, accordingly, after considering within 
himself for a little while, being inflamed with the 
fire of divine love, said, " I consider, my father, that 
the truce of seven days has already ended : now 
therefore, receive, according to your desire, the de- 
cision which you would then have heard from me. 
For in the words of the chief of the apostles, ' I 
am ready to go with thee both to prison and to 
death.' " l When the holy Otto heard this, he gave 
thanks amidst his tears, and said, " Now will I 
attempt with joy this difficult task, for the grace 
of the Holy Spirit has touched your heart and has 
inspired you with so great fervour for this work. 
I make known to you that, inasmuch as my return 
will be uncertain, I have decided to complete and 
to consecrate with all speed the church of the Holy 
Faith, which I have lately built, and as soon as its 
consecration is completed, I desire to begin without 
delay this task of evangelization. 

" Meanwhile accept money from me and procure 
clothing and whatever else you need. For, as the 
blessed Bernhard has suggested, we ought not to 
approach the Pomeranians in a condition of poverty, 
but as men who have an abundance of clothing and 
food, for fear lest, if they found that we were in 

1 St. Luke xxii. 33. 



FIRST MISSIONARY TOUR 31 

a condition of poverty, they should scoff at us, as 
though we had gone to them in order to relieve our 
wants, and that they should reject the word of 
salvation and cast us out of their territories, as they 
cast out before that servant of God. But provide 
for yourself a faithful and diligent servant whom 
you know to be fitted to undertake this work." 
Udalricus replied, " There is a young man named 
Sefrid who is a member of our staff of clergy, 1 and 
is intelligent, active and faithful, who would be able 
to write letters for us on our journey should occasion 
arise. This man, who, in my opinion, is fitted to 
have a share in this expedition, I offer, father, to your 
loving care." The holy Otto accepted the proposal 
with gratitude and said, "You have judged rightly. 
As a result of your suggestion this man shall hence- 
forth hold a chief place amongst my servants." 

When the church of the Holy Faith had been 
consecrated and money to defray the expenses of 
the journey had been collected and the time for 
starting drew near, a sudden fever attacked Udalricus, 
the servant of God. Moreover, Berchrada and Wen- 
delmuot, the handmaidens of Christ, and others over 
whom by word and example as a priest he had held 
rule in Bamberg, had by their unceasing prayers and 
tears, detained him here. To their voices, beyond 
all doubt, were the ears of divine mercy open, for 
even at this time they faithfully obeyed his commands. 
The holy Otto, who was incredibly distressed by his 
sickness, waited on his account in the town of 
Bamberg for three days beyond the time that had 
been arranged, and he and his servants visited him 
daily and with fatherly solicitude sought for any 
signs of returning health. But as his pains did not 
cease, but rather increased day by day, for so God 
willed, the man of God with great sorrow left the 

1 Officio clericus probably denotes that Sefrid had received one of 
the minor clerical orders. 



32 THE LIFE OF OTTO 

chosen companion of his journey sick, and set out 
with his companions. Sefridus, a youth of good 
disposition, Otto took as one of his companions and 
continued ever afterwards to cherish him with affec- 
tion out of love to his foster-father Udalricus. When 
he reached the monastery of Michelfeld, which he 
had recently built, he solicited earnestly that prayers 
and alms should be offered on behalf of one who 
was a close friend. Once again he remained for 
three days in the same place, whilst he sent frequent 
messengers to Udalricus urging him, should he 
recover his health by the mercy of God, to come 
to him there with all diligence. He, however, 
remained seriously ill, and accordingly Otto com- 
mended him carefully to the blessed apostle St. John, 
who was the patron of this monastery, and continued 
the journey which he had begun. Many clergy and 
other members of the Church at Bamberg, who were 
devotedly attached to their holy father, had followed 
him to Michelfeld, as they desired to enjoy his com- 
pany and to be helped by his teaching and discourse. 
With much wholesome advice he urged upon them 
the duty of preserving concord and unanimity, and 
refreshed them with abundant consolation. " Inas- 
much," said he, " as I desire to face the difficulties 
of this arduous journey in order that I may secure 
great gain in the far-off territories of the barbarians, 
I leave with you peace, and again, and yet again 
I urge and impress upon you t'ie importance of 
peace. If you consider how great is the virtue of 
peace, you may understand with what diligence it 
should be cultivated. Our Lord and Saviour, when 
about to set out in order to suffer death, condescended 
to leave behind and give to His disciples a special 
and unique pledge in order that He might make 
those who were united to Him by faith, partners 
with Himself: for it is written, 'Blessed are the 
peacemakers, for they shall be called the sons of 



FIRST MISSIONARY TOUR 33 

God.' 1 Whoever then desires to become heir to his 
own father let him not refuse to act as a son by 
carefully preserving peace. For he who gives way 
to discord deprives himself of this great blessing. 
If then there is any striving after divine love, if 
any regard for the humility that I have displayed 
amongst you, follow after peace with all men at 
home and abroad, with those of your own household 
and with those outside, do those things that conduce 
to peace and love, cultivate earnestly hospitality and 
provide things that are good, not only in the sight 
of God but in the sight of men." 2 For three days 
he impressed upon them this and other similar 
teaching and at length bade them farewell as those 
whom he would not see again and, whilst his tears 
bore witness to his fatherly love, he commended 
them diligently to Christ and sent them back to 
their own place. When then he addressed himself 
to the journey which he had undertaken, what tongue 
can depict how great was the lamentation made by all 
his sons and how unparalleled were their lamentations ? 
Having been closely united to him by the bond 
of perfection which is love, they bewailed their one 
and only father as though their own hearts had 
been torn from their bodies, and as though they 
were carrying the corpse of their best beloved foster- 
parent to his burial. They led him thus with grief 
and piteous outcry beyond the district of Michel feld : 
then he turned to them and with pastoral authority 
and priestly dignity he strove as far as he could to 
console them. He set out then with his noble com- 
panions and on the following day was asked by the 
illustrious Gebhard of Waldeck 3 to consecrate his 
church. 4 He consecrated it with deep devotion and 

1 St. Matt. v. 9. 

2 Romans xii. 7. 

3 Waldeck lay to the south-east of Bayreulh. 

4 The name of the place according to Heibord was Leuchtenberg. 
Vit. O. II. 8. 



34 THE LIFE OF OTTO 

with fitting pageant, and going on from thence he 
consecrated another church at Vohenstrauss during 
the episcopate of Hartwic, the venerable bishop of 
Ratisbon, and by his permission and request. 

Here a multitude of people, reckoned at 6,000 or 
even more, met him, and entreated him to confer 
upon them the grace of Confirmation ; and when the 
beloved hand had been placed upon them, they soon 
began to render great thanks to the Lord and to 
implore the mercy of God and to ask that long life 
and a prosperous issue to his journey might be 
granted to their noble father. For he was in great 
favour both with the Lord and with men, so that all 
men hastened with eager desire to behold his hoary 
and much revered head and his face which resembled 
that of an angel. They rejoiced also to kiss not 
only his revered hands, which had been sanctified 
by abundant almsgiving, but even his very footsteps. 
After this he came to the monastery of Kladrau, 1 
where he and his companions were honourably 
received. 

[H. VIII. Here too he gave the veil to certain sisters, 
one of whom named Richa, who was weeping bitterly, 
he comforted by saying, " Do not weep, my daughter, 
be without fear, for in the Day of Judgment I will 
vouch for thy soul to thy Bridegroom, our Lord Jesus 
Christ." In confirmation of this promise, after the 
lapse of many years, she died on the anniversary of 
the burial of St. Otto.] 

Now Ladislaus, the Duke of Bohemia, had sent 
messengers of rank thither to meet the holy father, 
who were instructed to show him due reverence and 
devotion and to furnish him with an escort, until he 
came to the Duke at the town of Prague. At this 

1 Coenobium Cladrunnense, i.e. Kladrau: another M.S. reads 
Claderenense. 



FIRST MISSIONARY TOUR 35 

place the Duke, and Meginhard of pious memory, 
the bishop of the town, together with all the clergy 
and people, received him courteously, and bestowed 
many gifts upon him which he handed over for the 
use of the poor. This bishop Meginhard, the chosen 
of God, had already enjoyed the privilege of intimate 
intercourse with Otto, and for love of him he 
cherished with great affection the place 1 which he 
knew to be especially beloved by him, and loaded 
it with gifts and, as it now appears, arranged to 
perpetuate here the memory of his own anniversary. 
Going on thence the holy Otto made for the 
Abbey of Seizkea 2 and then turned aside to Albea. 
In these districts the Duke Ladislaus had arranged 
fixed resting-places for him as far as the territory 
of the Polonii. There also the messengers of the 
venerable Polizlaus, 3 the Duke of the Polonii, met 
the apostle of our time and furnished him with an 
abundance of supplies and provisions till he reached 
the capital town Gnezna. He came then to the 
diocese of Bretlaen, 4 where he was received with 
due respect, and remained there for two days. On 
the third day he drew near to the diocese of Pozen. 
Turning aside from here he scattered seeds of faith 
and piety throughout the neighbouring districts, and 
within a fortnight he arrived at Gnezna the chief 
city of Polonia. 

[H. VIII. For all the Churches in this district 
there was one form of salutation on the occasion of 
receiving a bishop. Those who shared in the joyous 
procession, that was formed in his honour, in each 
several place, alluding to his missionary undertaking, 
exclaimed, " The citizens of the Apostles and those 
who are of the household of God have come to us 

1 i. e. the monastery of St. Michael at Bamberg. 

2 i. e. Sadska, which lies to the east of Prague. 

3 i.e. Boleslav III. * i.e. Breslan. 



36 ^ THE LIFE OF OTTO 

this day ; " and the rest of the words which form 
part of the response they sang with eager devotion.] 

IV. The Duke Boleslav, when he knew that the 
man of God had come, began to weep for joy, and 
proceeded with bare feet, together with all the clergy 
and people, to meet the beloved father. So great 
was the devotion with which he received him that he 
commanded that his own little children should be 
brought to meet him and should kiss his feet, and he 
besought with tears that he might receive the benefit 
of his blessing by the laying on of his hands. For the 
Duke was greatly respected in the Church of Christ : 
he was a lover of the poor and a consoler of those who 
were in need, and was beloved by all for his humility 
and charity, for he was wont to devote his attention 
to the congregations of the faithful and the dwellings 
of the saints rather than to the task of building 
cities. For three weeks he kept the beloved father 
Otto in the diocese of Gnezna, in the house of James, 
the chief ruler of the Church who afterwards became 
bishop, in order that he might enjoy his teaching 
and provide all things that might be needed for 
his journey. When Otto departed from the Church 
that was at Gnezna he had something stolen from 
him in the next hamlet, but as the result of an order 
issued by the Duke Boleslav he quickly recovered 
what was lost. At this place his companions Herold 
and Godebold returned home after receiving his bless- 
ing. After this, he had, by the help of God, a 
prosperous journey as far as the borders of Polonia. 

[H. IX. The Duke himself and all the chief men 
in Polonia, advancing with bare feet about two hundred 
yards from the town of Gnezna, received him with 
great reverence and conducted him to the principal 
church. The Duke was delighted to entertain such 
a guest and to have the pleasure of his presence for 



FIRST MISSIONARY TOUR 37 

seven days; and with great politeness and goodwill 
he hastened with intelligent care to prepare all things 
that were needed for his journey, and he gave to the 
bishop men of his own race who were acquainted 
with the Polonian and Teutonic languages in order 
to supply his various needs, lest he should suffer any 
inconvenience amongst a foreign race through ignor- 
ance of their language. What more shall I say? 
He collected a long line of chariots and four-horse 
carriages to carry the provisions and all the sacred 
vessels of the bishop and the money also which was 
provided by his country with great liberality, as he 
contemplated that the bishop would not need to 
labour or to spend his own money, but desired to 
secure by his own expenditure the whole merit arising 
from his journey. The Duke also gave the bishop 
three chaplains, who were with him, to assist in 
preaching the word, and a certain centurion, named 
Paulicius, a strenuous and orthodox man, who was 
fitted by his natural gift of eloquence to act as a 
popular speaker. 

X. The bishop and his companions were thus sent 
on their way by the Duke of Polonia. After passing 
the camp that lay on the borders of Polonia they 
entered the large and awe-inspiring wood that divides 
Pomcrania from Polonia. Even there, though the 
route seemed impassable, they were able to find a 
path, though it became difficult to continue on any one 
track. For this wood had never been traversed by 
human beings, except by the Duke who, before he 
had subjugated the whole of Pomerania, had traversed 
it for the sake of securing plunder, having cut a way 
for himself and his army by marking and felling 
trees. Though they paid attention to these marks 
they experienced great difficulties owing to the many 
different kinds of serpents and wild beasts, and storks 
which had nests in the branches of the trees and 
which disturbed them by their chattering and the 



38 THE LIFE OF OTTO 

fluttering of their wings. At the same time the 
marshy ground hindered the advance of their four- 
horse carriages and chariots, so that they had difficulty 
in completing the crossing of the wood within six 
days and in establishing themselves on the bank of 
the river which forms the boundary of Pomerania.] 

When he and his companions came to a town called 
Uzda x which is on the border line, his guide Paul 
sent forward messengers to Wortizlaus 2 the Duke of 
Pomerania, to inform him that Otto the servant of 
God, whose fame was spread abroad, was coming to 
his territory in order to preach the gospel. On 
account of the respect that was due to his own sanctity 
and to the authority of the apostolic lord Calixtus, 
whose messenger he was, he should be received with 
all fealty and his advice and commands should be in 
all respects obeyed. On receiving this order the Duke 
Wortizlaus met him in a town called Zitarigroda and 
received him with honour as a messenger of God. 
Otto offered to him the peace of Christ and, in accord- 
ance with his custom, presented gifts, namely a b : shop's 
seat covered with (an episcopal) mantle and a costly 
dorsal together with other gifts, in order that by 
endowing him with temporal goods he might the more 
easily incite him to the love of heavenly things. The 
barbarians, however, at the suggestion of the great 
Enemy and his servants, their priests, made a cruel 
and violent attack upon the servants of Christ and 
began to threaten them with death. Seeing this, the 
Duke, who was greatly distressed, came up with his 
followers and, making a vigorous effort to defend 
them, when they were terrified and almost in despair, 
brought them no small comfort. He appointed, 
moreover, messengers to go to Otto, who in the course 
.of seven days led him through the great desert which 

1 i.e. Uscz on the River Netze, to the south of Posnania. 

2 The name is also written Vralizlaus and Bratizlaus, 



FIRST MISSIONARY TOUR 39 

was close at hand, where he and his companions 
incurred great danger from wild animals, but by the 
help of God they passed through uninjured. They 
afterwards came to a certain pool where some 
Pomeranians, whose hearts God had touched, met 
him and sought from him the grace of faith and 
of washing unto salvation. He wept for joy as he 
added to the fold of Christ these firstfruits of a new 
flock. On the following day he reached the next 
hamlet where, by the help of the Lord, he admitted 
still more to the sacrament of the second birth. 

[H. XI. The Pomeranian Duke hearing of their 
approach met them with 500 men and, having pitched 
his camp at a different place on the river, he forth- 
with crossed the river and with a few companions 
saluted the bishop and . received his salute. And 
inasmuch as he was a Christian, though secretly owing 
to his fear of the pagans, he spoke from his heart 
rather than with his mouth as he hung for a long 
while in the embrace of the bishop, and extolled the 
kindness of God revealed in connection with his 
journey. While the bishop and the Duke and the 
interpreter Paulicius conversed together for a long 
time, the rest of the barbarians who had come with 
the Duke, seeing that the clergy were not a little 
alarmed, distressed them still more by pretending 
to threaten them. They, fearing that death was 
close at hand, devoted what they imagined to be 
their last moments to the Lord, by confession and 
prayer and the singing of psalms. For this was the 
first place in which they had seen pagans, and all of 
them did not yet know the disposition of their Duke. 
Moreover the horror produced by solitude, the novelty 
of the situation, the utter darkness of the wood from 
which they had just emerged, the dusk of the 
approaching night and the cruel aspect of the bar- 
barians all added to their fear. For the barbarians 



40 THE LIFE OF OTTO 

brought out sharp knives and threatened to flay them 
alive, or to transfix them, and to bury them in the 
earth up to their necks, and to prick or cut their 
heads with these knives : and growling at them with 
distended mouths, in order to terrify them, they told 
them that many other varieties of torment awaited 
them. 

However they soon revived when the Duke him- 
self consoled and comforted them, and instead of 
being agitated by idle fears the situation began to be 
leversed. For when they found that the Duke and 
the soldiers who had been frightening them were 
Christians, they gradually gained courage and con- 
fidence and ventured to teach and exhort those, on 
whom before, owing to their terror, they had not 
been able to gaze. 

When the barbarians had become more gentle and 
better disposed towards the Christian religion, their 
mouth was filled with joy and their tongue with 
exultation, and they said among the nations whose 
hearts God had touched, the Lord hath done great 
things with us whereof we rejoice. 1 This they said 
because, by the coming of the bishop to them, the 
Lord had ended their captivity even as the ice is 
melted by the midday sun. 

X 1 1. The bishop therefore, who was ever eager to do 
good, and who augured the success of his own coming, 
presented gifts to the Duke, which included a walking 
stick, of which he immediately made use and leaning 
on it walked to and fro, congratulating and convers- 
ing with the soldiers. " What kind of father," he 
said, "has God given to us, and what kind of gifts has 
the father given, gifts which are more acceptable now 
than at any other time ! " He then went to his camp, 
and in the morning he left with the bishop those who 
had come with him as guides and servants, and gave 
orders that in every district that belonged to him 

1 Cf. Ps. cxxvi. 3. 



FIRST MISSIONARY TOUR 41 

throughout the whole of Pomerania, liberal hospitality 
should be provided for the bishop. The Christians 
and the bishop crossed the river and entered Pomer- 
ania in the name of the Lord, and with guides to 
point the path they made their way to the camp of 
Pyrissa. Meanwhile the Duke left them to attend to 
his own business. 

XIII. On this journey we found some small ham- 
lets that had been destroyed in war and a few inhabi- 
tants who had recently gathered together after being 
dispersed, and who, when spoken to regarding the 
Christian faith, and asked whether they were willing to 
believe, threw themselves humbly at the bishop's feet 
and requested to be instructed and to be baptized. 
The bishop, as a faithful reaper, gathered these first- 
fruits of the divine harvest into his Lord's threshing- 
floor, and having given thanks to Him he baptized 
these thirty men, and after silently reflecting t'lat this 
was the number of the Ten Commandments multi- 
plied by the Persons of the Holy Trinity, he rejoiced 
that the work of evangelization had been mystically 
begun by him.] 

V. On the third day he came to Piriscus, 1 the first 
town in Pomerania, the citizens of which he exhorted 
to embrace the faith, and there he remained for four- 
teen days : but they refused their assent and forced 
the servant of God to go elsewhere, declaring that 
they could not adopt this new law without consulting 
their leaders and ciders. At length, however, as 
Otto waited upon them and offered unceasing prayers 
for their salvation, they were touched by the Spirit 
of God who bloweth where He listeth 2 and has 
compassion on whom He will have compassion, 3 and 
gave their consent, and, submitting themselves to 
the faith, were baptized, even as many as were pre- 
destined to eternal life. 

1 i.e. Pyritz. 2 St. John in. 8. 3 Rom. ix. 18. 



42 THE LIFE OF OTTO 

[ H. X IV. As they at length drew near to the Duke's 
camp called Pyrissa at the eleventh hour of the day, 
they saw from a distance that 4,000 men had come 
together there from every province : for that day was 
a festival of the pagans, and its celebration by this 
wild people with sport, debauchery and loud outcry 
astonished them. They did not think it therefore ad- 
vantageous or wise as unexpected guests to approach 
that night a crowd of people excited by drink and 
sport, but remaining where they were passed a sleep- 
less night, as they did not dare to have a fire in their 
camp, nor did they venture even to speak one to 
another. In the morning the bishop sent to the 
camp Paulicius and the messengers of the Duke 
Boleslav. These saluted the chief men in the name 
of the Dukes and announced that the bishop had 
been sent by the Dukes to declare to them the 
Christian faith and religion. With their authority 
they commanded and endeavoured to persuade the 
people to listen reverently and respectfully, and they 
further stated that the bishop was a man of rank and 
wealth in his own country and possessed resources 
sufficient to supply his needs in a foreign land, and 
that he sought nothing and needed nothing, but had 
come in order to promote their salvation and not for 
the sake of gain. They bade them to remember 
their pledged word and to be mindful of the divine 
vengeance and of the recent destruction that had 
come upon the land, lest they should a second time 
arouse the divine wrath. They pointed out that the 
whole world lived under Christian laws and that they 
could not by themselves withstand the whole world. 
The people delayed long and made various excuses, 
and asked to be allowed time for consideration, 
saying that they ought not to undertake so im- 
portant an affair suddenly or without consideration. 

Paulicius and his fellow-messengers perceived that 
this was spoken designedly and they said, " It is no 



FIRST MISSIONARY TOUR 43 

time for lengthy consideration, what you are about 
to do, do quickly. Behold he is at hand. Last night 
the bishop would have come amongst you had he 
not heard that you were engaged in games and 
sport. On this account he delayed to come and 
pitched his tents on the plain, but it will be to your 
advantage not to distress him by a further con- 
temptuous delay, lest the Dukes should consider that 
they themselves have thereby received an injury." 
"Is he," they said "so near?" to which the mes- 
sengers replied, " It is so." " Everything," they said, 
"tends to hasten the end of our conference. Let us 
do then willingly and quickly what we are about to 
do, as our present circumstances demand, for the 
most high God appears to be surrounding and 
drawing us towards Him by His own power. We 
cannot refuse, let us therefore follow Him who would 
draw us towards life, lest by resisting His goodness 
we sink into death. Our gods, it appears, are not 
gods ; against Him we can avail nothing. It is 
therefore better that we should leave behind those 
who will not follow us and that with entire loyalty we 
should draw near to the true God who has never 
failed those who have hoped in Him." After they 
had carefully re-examined and approved this proposal, 
which was at once so good and advantageous, they 
first of all held a secret gathering among themselves, 
and when, by unrestricted discussion with the mes- 
sengers and Paulicius, they had gained further con- 
fidence, they went forth with them to the people, who 
had not dispersed according to custom or gone into 
the country, but, in accordance with God's will, 
remained where they were, and who now assembled 
as for a festival. These they addressed with honeyed 
words and with alluring kindness. Why say more ? 
It is marvellous to relate how quickly and readily 
that concourse of people, after hearing what was 
said, arrived at the same decision. And because 



44 THE LIFE OF OTTO 

they heard that the bishop was close at hand they 
made a great outcry and with one accord asked to 
have him called, so that they might all see and hear 
him before the assembly broke up, and they departed 
to their several homes. Accordingly when Paulicius 
and the messengers returned, some of the people 
went with them to .the bishop to invite him, with 
the utmost respect, to visit them and to salute him 
on behalf of the nobles and the whole people and to 
assure him that he could appear without risk or fear 
of harm befalling him, but that they would eagerly 
listen to what he would say. The bishop, after 
giving thanks to God for the happy issue of events, 
betook himself to the camp, but when the inhabitants 
caught sight from a distance of the four-horse carri- 
ages, and the pack-horses which carried their pro- 
visions, and the beasts of burden and their attendants, 
they suspected that preparation was being made to 
attack them, and were accordingly somewhat alarmed. 
When, however, the true state of things was under- 
stood the whole people poured forth like a torrent to 
meet them, encompassing and surrounding them, and, 
gazing on them with admiration, they conducted them 
with all their belongings to the place reserved for 
visitors, which was a large space at the entrance to 
the camp. This they took possession of and here 
they fixed their tents while the barbarians kindly 
and gently assisted and made themselves in every 
way useful. 

XV. Meanwhile the bishop put on his episcopal 
dress and, by the advice of Paulicius and the chief 
men, he addressed the people who desired to hear 
him from a lofty place, speaking through the mouth 
of an interpreter. He said, " The blessing of the Lord 
be upon you. Blessed be ye of the Lord. We bless 
and thank you in ths name of the Lord because ye 
have refreshed our hearts by your grateful, kind and 
loving reception. Ye have perchance already heard 



FIRST MISSIONARY TOUR 45 

what is the object of our coming to you, but, if ye 
will deign to do so, it is fitting that ye should hear it 
again and pay diligent heed. We have come a long 
way : it is for your salvation, your benefit, and your 
happiness that we have made so great a journey. 
For ye will be happy, safe and blessed for evermore 
if ye will acknowledge your Creator and will serve 
Him." With these and other similar words, which 
for the sake of brevity I omit, the bishop preached 
to this ignorant people, with the result that the whole 
multitude of them, as though they had been one 
person, accepted the holy faith and placed them- 
selves under his instruction. The bishop with his 
attendants and priests spent seven days in instructing 
them and in teaching them carefully all the things 
that appertain to the Christian religion. A three 
days' fast was appointed and the bishop ordered that 
they should wash in baths and should put on clean 
white garments and come together to holy Baptism 
in chaste attire. 

XVI. Meanwhile three places for baptism were 
built in accordance with his orders, so that he 
might baptize the boys in one place whilst the priests 
baptized the women and men in separate places. 
The good father taught that baptism should be ad- 
ministered in such a way that nothing unbecoming 
or improper, or which might displease anyone, should 
be done. Accordingly he ordered that large vessels 
should be sunk in the ground so that the tops of 
the vessels should reach up to the men's knees or 
should project even less, and into which the descent 
would be easy. These were filled with water and 
circles were made round them. He also arranged 
that curtains should be spread out with posts and 
ropes to form as it were a screen all round the font in 
front of the priest and his assistants, who stood on 
one side with a curtain between whilst administering 
the sacrament. He did this in order to provide 



46 THE LIFE OF OTTO 

against any infringement of modesty and to guard 
the administration of the sacrament from being 
marked by any folly or disgrace, and to prevent 
the more respectable people from withdrawing from 
baptism on the ground of modesty. And when all 
the people had come to the place of baptism the 
bishop, having first addressed them all together 
with suitable words, divided the sexes to right and 
left and anointed with oil those who had been 
instructed. He then commanded that a descent 
should be made to the places prepared for baptism. 
As the people came one by one to the entrance 
of the surrounding enclosure they entered accom- 
panied only by their godparents ; and the god- 
parents then received the robe in which he who 
was to be baptized was wrapped, and the wax 
taper, and while he went down into the place of 
baptism, they waited holding the robe in front of 
his face till they gave it to the one who came 
out of the water. The priest standing at the font 
heard rather than saw that someone was in the 
water, and, removing the curtain a very little, he 
immersed the head of the person to be baptized 
three times and completed the administration of the 
holy sacrament by anointing the head with oil and 
by putting on the white robe. Then, drawing back 
the curtain, he bade the one who had been baptized 
to come up from the water, while the godparents 
covered him with the garment which they were 
holding and led him away. This was the order 
and arrangement for baptizing men and women, 
and boys and young men who could not be lifted 
into the water by the priests, in Pyrissa and in 
other towns and camps wherever the large number 
of persons to be baptized forced them to stay for 
some time. In winter time when the bishop ad- 
ministered the sacred sacrament of baptism, he 
showed the same care and regard for the pre- 



FIRST MISSIONARY TOUR 47 

servation of modesty and, having had the vessels 
sunk in the ground, he used hot water and sprinkled 
everything with incense and~~~with other perfumes. 
For on every occasion, as the pagans noted with ad- 
miration, he possessed, as a gift from the Divine Spirit, 
an elegant charm and a winning demeanour which 
prevented him from doing anything unbecoming, 
or foolish, in eating, drinking, or speaking, or in 
his general behaviour, so that in every external act 
which he performed he displayed his real nature, 
being conspicuous alike for his goodness, his culture 
and his prudence. 

XVII. They remained in the same place for about 
twenty days preaching to the people and baptizing 
them in the name of the Lord, teaching them to 
preserve the unity of the faith in the bond of peace, 
instructing them concerning the festivals and ob- 
servances of the Christian religion, concerning the 
fasts at the four seasons, and the Lenten fast, and 
concerning the incarnation, birth, circumcision, mani- 
festation, presentation, baptism, transfiguration, suffer- 
ing, resurrection and ascension of our Lord Jesus 
Christ ; concerning the coming of the Holy Spirit, 
concerning the vigils and birthdays of the Apostles 
and other martyrs and saints, concerning the Lord's 
Day, and Friday, concerning the division of the 
months and the arrangement of the whole year, as 
recognized by Christians. 

As the whole of the church could not suddenly be 
erected he built a sanctuary and consecrated an altar 
and gave orders that masses should be celebrated 
there meanwhile. He gave the people a priest, sacred 
books, a chalice, and all things that were needed for 
the sacrament of the altar. All these the people 
received with great joy, eagerness, devotion and 
thanksgiving, and having cast away all their old and 
profane superstitions and heathen observances, and 
having put off the old man with his deeds they began 



48 THE LIFE OF OTTO 

to walk in newness of life and to make good progress. 
The number of those who were there converted to the 
faith -was about /poo. 1 

The bishop, perceiving that the harvest was great, 
and recognizing that he ought to preach the kingdom 
of God to other cities, when he was about to continue 
his journey summoned an assembly and addressed 
the members of the Christian Church thus : 

XVIII. " My brothers, I am zealous on your behalf 
with a divine zeal, for all of you who have come 
hither to hear me, and as a result of my teaching 
have believed in Christ and have been made Christians, 
and being one Church in the Lord, have been betrothed 
by faith to my Lord Jesus Christ ; ye are, I say, all 
of you one Church, which is the one and only spouse 
of my Lord Jesus Christ, because by faith ye have 
become incorporated into the one universal Church. 
But inasmuch as by His grace I appear to have brought 
about this true espousal (for I have betrothed you as 
a pure virgin to her husband), the zeal that I feel in 
regard to you is none other than divine zeal. For 
according to the apostle there is such a thing as 
an evil zeal. 2 ' There are some,' he says, ' who 
zealously seek you in no good way.' 

" To be zealous may mean to be displeased, though 
the word is sometimes used for imitate, as in the 
passage 'covet earnestly the best gifts.' 3 I am ready 
to be displeased with you, for, as I said before, I am 
zealous on your behalf. For I could not bear, nor 
shall I ever be able to bear, without sorrow and 
indignation, that anything wrong should occur which 
would bring loss to my Lord Jesus Christ, to whom 
by faith I have espoused you, if you were to defile 
yourselves again by worshipping other gods, for 
idolatry is like fornication and separates us altogether 
from God. Listen my brothers. Behold, ye have all 

1 Vita Priif. (IT. 4) reads "about 500" (500 fere utriusque sexus). 

2 Gal. iv. 17. 3 i Cor. xii. 31. 



FIRST MISSIONARY TOUR 49 

been baptized in (the name of) Christ and have all 
put on Christ: 1 from Him ye have received the for- 
giveness of all your original and actual sins; ye are 
clean and holy, having been cleansed and sanctified, 
not through any deed of ours, but by Him, for He 
Himself by His own blood has washed away the sins 
of the world. 2 Beware then of defiling yourselves 
again by the worship of idols, for this is uncleanness, 
by which God is greatly displeased and which separates 
men from the grace of God. Beware lest you pros- 
titute yourselves to evil and to unclean spirits, but 
render divine honours to your Creator alone and not 
to any creature, lest His indignation and anger befall 
you ; but seek to advance in faith, hope and love, so 
that His blessing may come upon you and your 
children and that, believing in Him and adorning 
your faith by your works, ye may have life in His 
name, who has called you out of darkness into His 
marvellous light. 3 For ye ought to be well assured 
and in no wise doubt that if by His help ye endeavour 
to preserve to the end of your life the innocence and 
holiness in which ye have been placed to-day, ye will 
not only escape eternal death but will possess for ever 
the joy of the celestial kingdom. 

"But because our present life cannot be lived with- 
out sin, for man's life upon earth is a life of struggle 
and temptation, 4 I commit to you, ere I leave you, the 
things that have been committed to us by the Lord, 
which are pledges of holy faith between you and God, 
that is the seven sacraments of the Church which 
represent the seven gifts of the Holy Spirit ; by using 
which, amid the toils and struggles of this life, your 
Church may not fall back, but may advance and 
repair its own deficiencies. Take heed therefore that 
ye know how to tell over again the things which we 
hand on to you ere we depart. The first sacrament 

1 Gal. iii. 27. 2 Rev. i. 5. 

? i Pet. ii. 9, * Job vii, I. 



50 THE LIFE OF OTTO 

into which ye have been initiated is Holy Baptism. 
This sacrament, my brothers, ye ought henceforth to 
preserve and venerate. Ye ought also by the hands 
of the priests to hand it on to your little children at 
suitable seasons, that is on Easter Day and Pentecost, 
knowing beyond all doubt that whoever passes out of 
this life without having received this sacrament shall 
have no part in the kingdom of God and shall pay 
the penalty for ever of his original sin. 

" The second sacrament is Confirmation, that is the 
anointing of the forehead with the sacred oil. This 
sacrament is necessary for those who are entering 
upon life, for thus must they be fortified and armed 
by the aid of the Holy Spirit so as to resist all the 
temptations and evils of this present life. But the 
reception of this sacrament must not, as some think, 
be deferred till old age, but must be received whilst 
the ardour of youth remains, for this period of life 
is especially exposed to temptations. The third 
sacrament is the anointing of the sick, which is 
necessary for those who are at the point of death, 
because the forgiveness of sins is granted by this 
anointing through the power of the Holy Spirit, and 
he who is about to die is armed by the same power of 
the Holy Spirit so that he may fight against spiritual 
wickedness, that is against the evil spirits that lie in 
wait for souls on their departure from this life. This 
sacrament is very greatly to be desired by every 
Christian and is to be received by him with the utmost 
devotion at the moment of his death, inasmuch as it 
is the most effective medicine for the soul. The 
fourth Sacrament is the Eucharist, that is the body 
and blood of our Lord. This sacrament is necessary for 
those who are to live and for those who are to die. For 
whether we live or die we must make use of this which is 
a provision for our journey. For it is the true food of 
the soul and has within it eternal life. Wherefore 
masses ought frequently to be celebrated and ye ought 



FIRST MISSIONARY TOUR 51 

to come together for this purpose in order that ye may 
more frequently participate in this food for the journey, 
and if, because ye are carnal, ye are not able to partici- 
pate yourselves in this most holy food at all masses, ye 
may still participate through your mediator, the priest, 
who participates on your behalf, by listening with faith 
and reverence when mass is said. Ye ought, however, 
to receive the sacrament three or four times a year, if 
ye cannot do so more frequently, and to make your 
confession. The fifth sacrament is the reconciliation 
by penitence of those who have lapsed, that is of 
those who after baptism have been cast out of the 
Church for grave sins. By reparation and penitence 
these are again made members of the Church. This 
sacrament is as it were a poultice and medicine 
for the recovery of those who fall and are wounded 
in the fight. The sixth sacrament is marriage, that ic 
the joining together in wedlock. The five sacraments 
already mentioned are, so to speak, general and 
necessary for every Christian, but this is a sacrament 
for special individuals, as it is not necessary for all, 
but for those only who cannot restrain themselves. 
Whilst all men should be attracted and invited to the 
former sacraments, no one is to be attracted or invited 
to this except those who, as has been said, cannot 
restrain themselves, but defile themselves by unlawful 
intercourse. To these this sacrament must be recom- 
mended so that they may obtain an honourable remedy 
for their weakness. But yc who have hitherto been 
pagans and not Christians, have not the sacrament 
of marriage, because ye have not been faithful to one 
woman. But those of you who have desired it have 
had more than one wife, a thing which henceforth will 
be for you unlawful ; but one man ought to have one 
woman, and one woman one man. What is more 
than this is of the evil one. If any of you have had 
more than one wife before your baptism let him now 
choose the wife which pleases him best and let him 



52 THE LIFE OF OTTO 

send away the others and keep this one only, accord- 
ing to the Christian custom. I hear also that ye 
women are accustomed to kill your female infants. 
Words cannot express how great an abomination such 
conduct is. Consider whether the brute animals act 
thus towards their young. Let not this parricidal 
crime exist henceforth amongst you, for it cannot 
be forgiven without the most profound repentance. 
Nourish carefully your offspring whether male or 
female, for it is God's will to create both the male and 
the female. The seventh sacrament then is the ordina- 
tion or consecration of clergy, and this sacrament is 
for special individuals and not general because it is not 
necessary for everyone. For although all men have 
need of clergy it is not necessary that all men should 
become clergy. 

" Those then who are specially fitted by character 
and by knowledge should be invited rather than 
drawn by force to this sacrament. I exhort you, 
therefore, and invite you, for it is not right that 
I should use force, to hand over some of your 
children to perform the office of the priesthood after 
they have received a liberal education and have been 
carefully taught, so that, like other races, ye may 
have clergy and priests speaking your own tongue 
and conversant with Latin. These then are the 
seven sacraments which I will enumerate again for 
your benefit : baptism, confirmation, the anointing of 
the sick, the Eucharist, the reconciliation of the 
lapsed, matrimony, and Orders, which by us His 
humble bridesmen, the heavenly Bridegroom has 
deigned to transmit as a pledge of true love to you 
His Church and bride. Wherefore ye ought to 
observe with all care and reverence these sacraments 
and teach them to your children, so that they may 
remember and carefully observe them for all genera- 
tions. Ye have now a Church and a priest who can 
fully instruct you concerning all these things, and 



FIRST MISSIONARY TOUR 53 

concerning all things that are necessary for you. 
Listen then to him, as ye have listened to me, honour 
him and love him, and do whatever he shall tell 
you. Farewell in the Lord my beloved."] 

On the nativity of St. John the Baptist he arrived 
at a large town called Gamin 1 where the Duke 
lived. He remained here for a long time, that is for 
fourteen weeks, or more, and built churches with 
branches of trees, to supply the needs of the new 
spiritual plantation. Otto himself baptized the little 
children, whilst his fellow-workers baptized the men 
and the women who drew near to Christ in multi- 
tudes. 2 In the course of the instruction that was 
given at this place the women were asked whether" 
they had killed their infants for in accordance with 
the cruel pagan custom, they had been wont to kill 
their girls and to save their boys and for this 
crime special penitence was enjoined. The men and 
women were washed separately in the sacred font, 
curtains being hung round the baptisteries, which 
were placed so far away from each other that no 
occasion for any kind of scandal could arise. 

[II. XIX. After that the Church in Pyrissa had 
been strengthened and instructed, we bade farewell 
with many tears and with much affection to this 
simple people, and with the ambassadors as our 
guides, we arrived at the town of Camina. There 
was here a duchess, who was the legitimate wife of 
the Duke, who, though living amongst pagans, was 
not unmindful of the Christian religion. She rejoiced 
greatly at the news of our arrival and, together with 
her whole household, received us eagerly, as she did 
not doubt that this would be equally agreeable to 
her husband and would promote both her and his 

1 i. c. Kamtnin. Vita Prilf. reads Chamin, Herbordus reads Camina. 

2 Vita Priif. (II. 4) gives the number as 3,585. 



54 THE LIFE OF OTTO 

salvation. For during our stay at Pyrissa she had 
carefully learned by means of secret spies all that 
had taken place there, and she rejoiced with great 
exultation that this people had been enlightened. 
She herself too began to fan the spark of her own 
faith that had hitherto smouldered, as it were, 
beneath dead ashes, by declaring it first of all 
modestly to the members of her own family and 
then to her confidential friends. And as it is written, 
" Fire arises from a spark," 1 so the ardent faith of 
this matron had, by the help of God, influenced the 
whole of the city to such an extent that we found 
not only no opposition but a joyful agreement on 
the part of all the people that they should receive 
baptism. 

XX. We stayed therefore for nearly forty days 
in the same place, and the bishop and his fellow- 
workers, both priests and other clergy, devoted them- 
selves almost entirely to the single task of receiving 
those who came to embrace the faith, and of guiding, 
instructing, preaching and baptizing. Amid so great 
a harvest the labourers seemed to be but few in 
number, for the peoples of the place and of the 
surrounding provinces came and went daily. We 
frequently saw the bishop who took the chief part 
in baptizing (though he himself only baptized boys), 
while he was endeavouring to supply the needs of 
all, perspiring to such an extent that his white robe 
dripped with sweat. Frequently also, when he was 
worn out by his excessive labour, he would sit down 
for a short time, and recover strength, and after 
breathing for a while, like a vigorous and active 
worker, he rose again to continue the work, which 
was so dear to him, giving thanks to Almighty God, 
because by His surpassing mercy he was gathering 
with sweat and toil so many sheaves into His 
granary.] 

1 Ecclus. xi. 32, 



FIRST MISSIONARY TOUR 55 

VI. There was not wanting a miracle to confirm 
the truth of Otto's preaching and this must here 
be related in due sequence. For there was in the 
same town of Gamin a certain woman of rank and 
wealth, who, being seduced by the persuasion of the 
Evil One, had despised the teaching of the most 
holy apostle and had put aside and refused to follow 
his instructions. To mention one of the instances 
in which she showed her contempt and disobedience ; 
whilst all were engaged in keeping the Lord's Day, 
she herself went out into the fields to reap and, 
although the members of her family disapproved 
and objected, she remained unabashed, and went on 
with the work which she had begun. But the good 
Lord, who has deigned to promise to his preachers, 
11 He that hears you, hears Me, and he that despises 
you, despises Me," l became by means of a manifest 
miracle, which was worked for the correction of the 
rest, the avenger and the punisher of this contempt. 
For whilst she was intent upon her evil work and 
was upbraiding and threatening the members of her 
family for neglecting to help her, she suddenly 
fell back, and, expiring more quickly than can be 
described, struck with great horror those who were 
standing near. She was forthwith placed in a coffin 
by the members of her family, who lamented and 
bewailed her, and was carried all round the town, the 
funeral being conducted with loud outcries. Whilst 
this manifest judgment of God caused fear to all, 
they were more and more strengthened in the 
Christian belief and religion. 

[H. XXI. While these things were being done at 
Camina and we and the people of the city, together 
with their most noble and Christian matron, were the 
possessors of spiritual joy, the arrival of the Duke 
of the country, Wortizlaus, with his attendants added 
1 St, Luke x f i. 



56 THE LIFE OF OTTO 

not a little to our pleasure. Without a moment's 
delay he rushed with filial confidence to embrace 
the bishop, and said, " Hail, holy father, be not 
angry because after my first brief greeting I have 
been so long without seeing you, for affairs of state 
which could not be avoided were the cause of my 
delay. But I am here now ready to obey and serve 
you in whatever way you desire, for we and all that 
we have are yours : use us as you will." When he 
had said this he turned to the clergy and the other 
important men in our retinue and said, " With your 
permission, father, I will salute also these your fellow- 
workers." He then took and held their hands in 
turn and blessed them and kissed them affectionately, 
calling them his most dear sons and daughters ; and 
he blessed God, the giver of all good things, that 
he had been thought worthy to receive in his house 
such agreeable guests. And because after this we 
had to go by boat from one town to another, he 
commanded his servants to lead our horses and 
beasts of burden to suitable pastures ; nor were they 
restored to us until everything had been accomplished 
and we were about to leave the country. When we 
received them back they were so changed in appear- 
ance that their owners could hardly recognize their 
own beasts, so fat had they become. The soldiers 
who had come with the Duke were forthwith 
instructed and baptized. Many, including the Duke 
himself, had been formerly Christians, but through 
association with unbelievers had abandoned their 
Christianity. By confession and penitence these 
were reunited to the Church, after promising that 
they would henceforth abjure all things inconsistent 
with the Christian name, and follow that which was 
conformable thereto. 

XXII. Moreover the Duke said, " I know that to 
have more than one wife, or to have concubines, is 
inconsistent with Christian holiness ; " and having 



FIRST MISSIONARY TOUR 57 

forthwith touched the relics of the saints, as is the 
custom when Christians take an oath, in the presence 
of the people and the bishop he publicly renounced 
the twenty- four concubines which, in accordance with 
heathen custom, he had taken in addition to his 
lawful wife. Many of the others who had presump- 
tuously committed the same offence, when they saw 
what the Duke had done, renounced polygamy and 
promised that they would follow the DuTze's example 
and cleave to one wife. The Church therefore in 
this place increased and was strengthened, walking 
in the fear of the Lord, and was filled with the Holy 
Spirit, whilst the bishop and the clergy zealously 
proclaimed the kingdom of God. A church was also 
built there and an altar and sanctuary consecrated, 
and certain farms and other property were given by 
the Duke for the support of a priest. The bishop 
acted generously in this country as he did in the 
case of all other churches, and contributed books, 
and priestly garments, and a silver chalice, together 
with other vessels. He placed also over the Church 
one of his own priests who was capable of teaching 
the people. 

XXIII. When all these arrangements had been 
duly made, and the people were coming together to 
the church day by day not only from the town but 
also from the country, and were keeping the Lord's 
Day and other festivals, a certain widow who lived 
in the country not far from the city of Camina, who 
was rich and noble, had shown her contempt for 
the Christian religion and declared that she would 
worship the gods of her country and would not fall 
in with the new delusion and abandon the ancient 
tradition of her ancestors. She had a large family 
and was a lady of great influence, who ruled her 
house with vigour, and, a circumstance which was 
very significant in that country, she had been accus- 
tomed during the lifetime of her husband to have 



58 THE LIFE OF OTTO 

thirty horses with riders for the use of her escort. 
The strength and power of nobles and great men 
is usually estimated in accordance with the supply or 
number of their horses. " He is strong, powerful and 
rich," people say, " for he has such or such a number 
of horses," and when they hear the number of the 
horses they understand the number of soldiers that 
are available, for in that district no soldier is 
accustomed to have more than one horse. 

Moreover the horses of this country are large and 
strong and each individual soldier fights without 
a shield-bearer and carries his own pack and shield, 
performing his military tasks with great agility and 
energy. Only chiefs and important men have one 
or, at the most, two attendants. It came to pass 
on a certain Lord's Day in harvest time when the 
people from all parts were hastening to the church, 
that this matron neither came herself nor permitted 
her servants to come, but behaved in an unruly way ; 
" Go," she said to her servants, " reap my fields, for 
this will bring you more advantage than devoting 
yourselves to a new and unknown god whom this 
Otto, the Bishop of Bamberg, brings from his own 
country. What have we to do with him ? Do not 
you see how much good and how great wealth our 
gods have given us? It is by their bounty that we 
have an abundance of wealth and honour ; to aban- 
don, therefore, their worship will bring us no small 
harm. Go then and reap our crops. In order 
that ye may be less afraid my carriage has been 
made ready and I will go into the fields with 
you and take part in reaping the crops." And 
when she had gone out into the fields she said, 
" Do as you see me do." She then turned back 
her sleeves, fastened up her robe and seized a 
reaping-hook in her right hand. She held some 
stalks in her left hand and appeared to be cutting 
them. But, marvellous to relate, as she was in the 



FIRST MISSIONARY TOUR 59 

act of doing this and was leaning forward to reap, 
she became like a marble effigy and could neither 
lift herself up nor cast away the sickle or the stalks 
of corn from her hand, but stood there in silence 
like an image, saying nothing but gazing at those 
who kept gazing upon her. 

But when her servants saw this they were greatly 
afraid, and they stood round her watching and waiting 
until she should recover. They begged her also to 
abandon her foolhardiness, telling her that the God 
of the Christians was mighty. Stye, however, made 
no response, and when they laid their hands upon 
her and tried to raise her up by force and to take 
away her sickle and stalks they were quite 
unable to do so. But she stood like an immovable 
mass fixed to the earth. And when this unhappy 
woman had caused astonishment and stupor to the 
spectators by the condition into which she had fallen, 
and her attendants were overcome with grief and 
distress and were proposing to leave her and depart, 
she suddenly collapsed and breathed forth her guilty 
soul into hell fire. As they lifted her into the car- 
riage they said, " What kind of sheaf is this that we 
carry back from the field on the Lord's Day ? " 
This occurrence was widely reported and spread 
abroad, for the attendants forthwith rushed to the 
church and asked for baptism, and, overcome with 
astonishment, related what had happened. The 
faith of those who believed was strengthened by 
the miracle, whilst the unbelievers and those who 
had before blasphemed learned to believe as a 
result of the punishment that had befallen the 
woman. They began, moreover, carefully to ob- 
serve the Lord's Day and the other festivals, and 
to show greater reverence not only for the bishop 
and his companions, but for all that they taught] 

VII. Going on from thence the apostle of the 



60 THE LIFE OF OTTO 

Pomeranians arrived at the great city of Julin, 
where the river Oder flows past the lake, which is 
very wide and long, and enters the sea. The citizens 
of this place were cruel and wicked, and on this 
account the holy preacher entered the city at great 
personal peril, for he and all his companions were 
faced with the prospect of certain death. According 
to the custom of their district, the chief of the land 
has a special seat and dwelling-place in each town, 
into which anyone may flee and obtain a refuge 
from his enemies. Thither, therefore, the holy Otto 
entered, and with prayers and tears he pleaded for 
the conversion of the Pomeranian race, but all in 

L_ vain. 

For the inhabitants of the town, intoxicated 
with the chalice of God's anger, when they heard 
of the arrival of the servants of God, at the dawn 
of the following day, armed themselves with clubs 
and stones and rushing upon them endeavoured to 
drive them from the town. They said that it was 
in vain that they had made their way into the 
resting-place provided by the Duke, expecting to 
find security there, inasmuch as those who were 
subverters of the country and of its ancient laws 
were declared by the ordinance of their gods to be 
outside the stipulation relating to the granting of 
peace. As a result of the intervention and the order 
of the Duke they with difficulty escaped with their 
lives, after receiving many injuries. They then 
spread their tents in front of the town and re- 
mained there for seven days, whilst the messengers 
of the two Dukes Bolezlaus and Wortizlaus kept 
inquiring day by day on their behalf whether the 
people of Julin had considered the question of mak- 

r ing their submission to the Christian faith. They 
were, however, led astray by the evil counsel of 
their priests, and refused altogether to receive the 
herald of wholesome teaching, but drove him 



FIRST MISSIONARY TOUR 61 

ignominiously away from their territory and forced 
him to go to Stettin. 1 

[H. XXIV. When nearly fifty days had been spent 
in this place (Camina), ambassadors were provided 
by the Duke, and two citizens from the place to 
act as guides, viz. Domizlaus and his sons who 
were men of reputation ; and we travelled by boat 
to Julin through lakes and lagoons made by the 
sea. This city is large and strongly built, but its_ 
inhabitants were cruel and barbarous, and when" 
they had come near to the city our guides stopped 
and began to be frightened and to murmur amongst 
themselves. When the bishop perceived it he said, 
"What is it that ye are saying one to another?" 
They said, "Father, we are afraid for you and your 
companions, for this people is fierce and unrestrained. 
If it be your pleasure, let us bring the boat to land 
and wait on the shore till dusk, so that we may not 
raise a tumult against us by entering the city in_ 
daylight." In each of his cities the Duke had a~^ 
stronghold and a court with rooms in it and the 
law provided that if anyone had fled to this he 
should be secure from any enemy who might follow, 
and should remain there safe and unharmed. They 
said, therefore, " If we enter the Duke's shelter by 
night relying upon its protection, by coming into 
touch gradually with the citizens and by making 
known to them our business little by little, we shall 
perchance accomplish more." The proposal was 
adopted and when the day ended w r e entered the 
walled court provided by the Duke without the 
knowledge of the people. When they saw us on 
the following day some evil-disposed persons asked 
who we were and whence and why we had come. 

^ The Vita Priif. ( II. 8) says that the people of Julin hoped and 
an icipated that the inhabitants of Stettin would kill the bishop and so 
prevent his return to them. 
E 



62 THE LIFE OF OTTO 

There was at first a disturbance, which gradually 
became a tumult, as the people ran hither and 
thither looking at us again and again and telling 
the news concerning us to the others. At last the 
people, seized with a senseless rage, raised a great 
uproar and, armed with axes, swords and other 
weapons, burst into the Duke's court, without show- 
ing any regard for it, and threatened us with instant 
death unless we fled from the court and the city 
with the utmost speed. Now there was in the court 
a very strong building made with beams and large 
, planks which the people called " stupa " or " pyrale," 
into which had been carried from the boat the boxes 
of books, the pack-saddles, the bishop's robes, the 
money and other valuables. Thither, in consequence 
of the furious attack made by the people, the bishop 
and his clergy had fled. 

But the people shouted and cried out and endeav- 
^ cured to compel them to come forth. When they 
delayed it seemed for a moment as though the people 
would abandon their fury, but their madness blazed 
forth all the more and, making a rush, they attacked 
the "stupa" and overthrew it, dragging down and 
demolishing first the roof and then the beams. Whilst 
some were terrified and others cried for fear, the 
bishop, who hoped that he was called to receive the 
crown of martyrdom, stood undaunted with joyous 
spirit and cheerful countenance, eagerly desiring that 
he might be counted worthy to receive a blow or a 
wound in the name of Jesus. Paulicius and the 
ambassadors, when they saw that all the people were 
seized with madness and that to delay there any 
longer would make matters worse, leapt forth int.o the 
midst of the crowd and, raising a great cry, as though 
they were themselves mad, they stretched out their 
hands and demanded that silence should be made. 

When the people had become somewhat quieter, 
they went on to say, " What is this ? " and directing 



r 



FIRST MISSIONARY TOUR 63 

attention to themselves, they continued, "Allow us 
who are here in the Duke's court to depart in peace. 
Why are ye enraged against us ? Which of you havej 
we injured ? " They replied, " We have come to kill 
the bishop who is a deceiver, and the other Christians 
who are with him and who speak evil of our gods. 
But if ye desire to save them, see, we grant a free_^ 
passage, lead them quickly out of our city." Now the 
streets of the city were marshy and muddy and bridges 
had been built and planks had been laid down every- 
where in consequence of the mud. Paulicius seized 
the bishop by the hand and began to lead him forth,/ 
urging him modestly to quicken if he could his pace. 
When, with troubled steps, we had all passed through 
the crowd and beyond the court and had come to the 
bridges, a lusty barbarian in the crowd brandished a 
huge pole which he was carrying and tried to inflict 
a mighty blow on the head of the bishop as he was 
passing by. He, however, turned his head aside and 
received the blow on his shoulder, and when his 
assailant repeated his attempt and another man threw a^,., 
pike at him from a distance, Otto fell down on the mud 
between Paulicius and the priest Hiltanus who were 
leading him from the bridge. Paulicius, who showecH 
himself to be a real man, both in mind and body, did 
not desert the prostrate bishop in consequence of the 
missiles that were falling upon him, but interposed 
his own body and received frequent blows, and, 
descending from the bridge into the mire which was 
up to his waist, he lifted the bishop out of the mud. 
Likewise the other priests and clergy protected him 
and stretched forth their hands to him as he lay 
prostrate, and in the name_ of Jesus they received 
many blows that were aimed at their bishop with*"*! 
clubs and poles. At length and after many hazards 
the bridge was reached and we began to retire 
beyond the city, while the people, having been calmed 
by the more prudent among them, departed from us. 



64 THE LIFE OF OTTO 

We went then across the lake and broke down the 
bridge behind us, for fear lest the people should attack 
us again. Having rested in the plain in the spaces 
between the storehouses and having recovered our 
breath, we examined and counted our companions 
and gave thanks to God that no one was missing, 
rejoicing especially because we had been counted 
worthy to suffer shame for the name of Jesus. After 
we had recovered our breath and had ministered to 
his wants, the blessed Otto said, " Alas that we have 
been deprived of our hope. The palm was in our 
hands. You may God forgive you, my sons and 
brothers have snatched it from our grasp. All those 
blows were hardly sufficient for one martyrdom, but 
whilst all of you sprang forward to gain the crown (of 
martyrdom), ye have not allowed one to attain it." 
To him Paulicius answered, " Let it suffice, master, 
that to us you appeared to receive it." "It does not 
suffice," said he, "because I received less than I 
desired. It was your courage that, to a large extent, 
snatched away my blessing." This referred to the 
blows which Paulicius intercepted. Nevertheless the 
bishop had clearly received three blows. 

\ XXV. We remained there on the other side of the 
marsh which surrounded the town for fifteen days, 
waiting to see if the people would come to a better 

(_ state of mind. Meanwhile our companions went to 
and fro between us and them, and their head men 
came to us and excused themselves by laying the 
blame for the tumult upon the stupid and worthless 
section of the people. The bishop then conversed 
with them concerning the Christian faith and endeav- 
oured indirectly to exhort and persuade them. He 
made mention also of the name and power of the 
Duke of Polonia and suggested that the insult offered 
to us would tend to his injury and that some evil 
might befall them in consequence, unless perchance 
their conversion should intervene. They said that 



FIRST MISSIONARY TOUR 65 

they would take advice, and having gone back to their 
own people, they discussed these matters over and 
over agaiil and at length arrived at a unanimous 
decision, namely that in regard to this proposal they 
would do whatever the inhabitants of Stettin did, 
for they said that this city was the oldest and most 
renowned in Pomerania and was the mother of cities 
and that it would not be right for them to permit the 
observance of a new religion unless this observance 
had first been confirmed by its authority.] 

VIII. In this place (Stettin) it happened that God's 
servant met with a great and undeserved injury, which 
procured for him the glory of an eternal recompense 
in the presence of God. For a certain fellow, who 
was a son of perdition, had gone to a wood to cut logs. 
As he was returning with his waggon loaded with 
logs he met the man of God in a place where the mud 
was specially deep, and in an excess of foolish anger, 
prompted by Satan, by whom he was possessed, he 
seized a big log and endeavoured to break the head 
of God's servant and to dash out his brains. The 
Lord, however, preserved the holy Otto in order that 
he might be a help to many, and the wicked murderer 
did not succeed in touching his head, but he struck 
him a great blow between the shoulders so that he fell 
flat in the mud and the hoary,* head which ought to 
have been held in honour, and his whole body, were 
defiled by the evil-smelling mud. His fellow-worker 
also, the faithful Hiltanus, who desired to assist him, 
received a blow on the arm in his defence of truth. 
But Christ's servant rose from the mud and gave thanks 
for the insult that he had received, and said, " Glory 
be* to thee, O Lord, that I have been counted worthy 
to receive at least one blow on account of my love 
to Thee." But the Lord did not desert his servant 
who laboured on behalf of His name amid so great 
danger and difficulty, but deigned to send as his 



66 THE LIFE OF OTTO 

defender an opportune helper, a nobleman named 
Nedamirus, who was greatly esteemed by his fellow- 
countrymen for his wealth and power, had been 
already baptized in Saxony and was a Christian in 
secret. He defended Otto and treated him with all 
kindness, and showed his devotion to him when he 
was leaving by providing three large boats laden with 
an abundant supply of food, and by furnishing an 
escort to conduct him with all care as far as the Duke's 
citadel in the town of Stettin. He himself afterwards 
returned secretly by night to his own people in Julin. 
The Apostle of the Pomeranians continued in a safe 
place in Stettin for seven weeks, and in season and 
out of season he laboured long and diligently, toiling 
for God and preaching the word. 1 At length, assisted 
by God's mercy, he secured the conversion of this 
wild race ; and this was the way in which it came 
about. 

IX. There was a man called Domizlaus who was 
greatly renowned in Stettin for strength of mind and 
body, and was so greatly honoured and revered by 
all that not even Wortizlaus, the Duke of Pomerania, 
presumed to do anything without his advice and 
approval, but all public and private business was con- 
ducted as he pleased. For the greater part of the 
city of Stettin which is the most important of all 
the cities of Pomerania and includes within its circuit 
three hills was filled with the connections and rela- 
tions of Domizlaus, and in the districts that lay round 
about he had so many connections that it was not 
easy for anyone to resist his will. The holy Otto, 
who was ever a man of great sagacity, and who knew 
that if this man and his connections were to submit 
to the Christian faith, all the people would be drawn 
to follow his example, strove with all his might to tie 

1 The Vita Priif. (II. 8) states that the bishop preached every Sabbath 
sacerdotalibus vestimentis indutus . . , ut effera corda gentilium niveg 
d.emulceret aspectu, 



FIRST MISSIONARY TOUR 67 

this rhinoceros by the leash of his preaching so that 
he might be made to plow in the Lord's field. 

But inasmuch as he was a hard man and could not 
easily be brought under restraint, Otto first admitted 
the sons, in the absence of their father, to the sacra- 
ments of the faith, and with the sons he added also 
the mother to the fold of Christ. Domizlaus, when 
he heard, was at first extremely indignant, because 
this had been done without his approval or consent, 
and assailed Otto with threats and abuse and 
endeavoured to expel him ignominiously from those 
parts. The apostle of the Pomeranians, however, 
bent his knees to God and prayed with tears that, 
where iniquity abounded, grace might still more 
abound. 1 Whereupon Domizlaus was struck at once 
with the fear and love of God, as though a voice had 
said to him from heaven, " Domizlaus, why persecutest 
thou Me? 2 I ought before now to have destroyed 
thee, but My servant Otto prayed for thee." Suddenly 
the wolf became a lamb, that is, Saul was changed 
into Paul, and, suffused with tears, he knelt and 
prostrated himself before Otto and begged his forgive- 
ness and that he might be allowed opportunity to 
repent. He was kindly received by Otto, who, after 
comforting him with his paternal blessing, learned 
from his secret confession that he had formerly 
received the grace of baptism in Saxony ; but the 
craft of the Evil One had brought it about that when 
great wealth came to him in a pagan land, he had not 
been able to maintain his Christian faith amongst 
idolaters. When then he had completely abjured the 
errors of paganism, he became the most strenuous 
defender of the faith which he had before attacked, 
and, having mended his ways, the help that he gave 
to the faith was greater than the harm which he had 
done to it when he went wrong. His whole household, 
consisting of more than fifty souls, was forthwith 

1 Rom. v. 20, 2 Acts ix. 4. 



68 THE LIFE OF OTTO 

sprinkled with the water of regeneration : his neigh- 
bours also and friends with the members of his 
household, moved by his example, received the faith. 
And so it came to pass that the number of the faithful 
increased from day to day, and the whole town and 
adjacent province abandoned the darkness of idolatry 
and were enlightened by the glory of the faith. The 
holy preacher of the gospel remained there during 
the winter that was then approaching, and conferred 
the grace of baptism upon the people who flocked 
together to him. He built churches also in convenient 
places, and committed the charge of them to suitable 
ministers and priests, and arranged to provide all 
necessary furniture and adornments. 

[H. XXVI. When he heard this, 1 the bishop, with- 
out further delay, hastened to approach Stettin, and 
took with him a citizen of Julin named Nedamirus to 
show us the way. He made good use of his associa- 
tion with the bishop and, like another Nicodemus, he 
and his son visited us often in secret and listened 
eagerly to the things that were spoken. Several 
others too from the same city worshipped Christ in 
secret, both men and women. They also visited us 
frequently whilst we were stopping there, and at their 
own expense they showed us kindness, whilst they in 
turn were refreshed with spiritual consolation by the 
bishop. Their hope was that when Stettin had 
received the word of God Julin also, in accordance 
with the compact, might agree to receive it. Some 
of them disclosed to the Christians (amongst us) what 
they thought concerning Christ and afterwards 
returned secretly to their own place. 

We drew near to the city in the twilight and 
leaving our boats entered the court provided by the 
Duke. In the morning Paulicius and the headmen, 

1 i.e. the decision of the inhabitants of Julin to be guided by the 
action of the people of Stettin. Cf. H. II. 25. 



FIRST MISSIONARY TOUR 69 

who acted as ambassadors, declared that they had 
been sent by the Dukes with the bishop and explained 
that the object of their journey was to preach the 
gospel. At the same time they advised, promised 
and threatened. The people answered, "What have *" 
we to do with you ? We will not abandon the laws 
of our fathers, and are content with the religion that 
we possess. Amongst the Christians there are 
thieves and robbers, and those who (for their crimes) 
have been deprived of feet and eyes ; all sorts of 
crimes and penalties are found amongst them and 
one Christian curses another Christian. Let such a ^ 
religion be far from us ! " 

They made other protests of a similar nature and 
closed their ears against what we had to say. As all 
continued obstinate we effected nothing, although we 
remained there two months, and even more. As this 
long and useless delay was a cause of distress to us, 
a proposal was made that we should send messengers 
to the Duke of Polonia to inquire what orders he 
would give us, whether we were to remain there or to 
return, and what he thought of the opposition offered 
by the inhabitants of the town. When this proposal" 
became known to the citizens they were afraid, but 
asked nevertheless that messengers be sent, and said 
that their own messengers would co-operate with them 
on the understanding that if they should obtain from 
the Duke a lasting peace and a reduction of the 
tribute^ and if this should be confirmed in writing in 
the presence of their own and the bishop's messengers, 
they would then of their own free will regard with 
favour the Christian laws. During the absence of the 
messengers who went with Paulicius, twice a week, 
that is on the market days, when the p'eopTcTTrom 
every province came together, we dressed in our 
priestly robes and carried a cross through the market- 
place and urged upon the unbelieving people, in 
season and out of season, that they should believe and 



70 THE LIFE OF OTTO 

acknowledge God. By doing this we risked having 
our throats cut day by day, but by the help of God 
we continued unharmed. The people who came from 
the country, and whose minds were unbiassed, were 
affected by the novelty of the situation and, having 
postponed their own business, received our message 
with eagerness, though none ventured to become 
believers. And as the cross was carried and 
addresses were delivered on certain fixed days, the 
people of the country flocked together to listen 
instead of attending to the business of the market- 
place. 

XXVII. As we let down the nets of faith day 
after day and took nothing, though we toiled hard, 
the good God had regard to the diligence of His 
servant Otto and had compassion on our labour and 
sorrow. 

For two youths of beautiful appearance, the sons of 
a man of noble rank in the town, came frequently to 
the house where the Christians were and, becoming 
intimate with them, began little by little to ask ques- 
tions concerning our God and the Christian faith. 
The bishop perceived that they came for a good 
purpose and strove to secure future benefits through 
them. He accordingly delighted them with his 
agreeable conversation and preached to them day by 
day concerning the purity and beauty of Christianity 
and concerning the immortality of the soul, the 
resurrection of the body, and the hope and glory of 
eternal life. Aided by the Holy Spirit the youths 
opened their hearts to receive this teaching and, after 
a brief delay, believed and asked to receive baptism. 
The bishop then with great joy instructed the youths 
concerning all things that appertain to the Christian 
religion and, when they had been carefully instructed, 
he commanded that they should be washed and 
dressed in clean clothes and should present themselves 
for baptism with their tapers and white robes. They 



FIRST MISSIONARY TOUR 71 

did everything in silence as they had been told and 
on the appointed day, without the knowledge of their 
parents, having been washed and purified and dressed 
in new and clean garments, they presented themselves 
to the bishop with their white robes and tapers in 
order to receive holy baptism. You would have seen 
then angelic countenances in human form, you would 
have seen devilish squalor and laziness expelled and 
the attractive mien of the new man displayed on the 
faces of the "Christian youths. The bishop and all the 
other priests and clergy rejoiced, and marvelled at 
the grace which they beheld in them. But why say 
more? They were baptized, and to complete the 
Octave of their purification they stayed with us eight 
days without returning to their parents' house. 

XXVIII. When their mother (their father being 
absent) heard what had happened, before the youths 
had put off their white baptismal robes, she was filled 
with indescribable joy and said to one of her servants, 
" Go, tell my lord the bishop that I am coming to see 
him and my sons." She was a person who was held 
in high reputation and possessed great influence in 
that city. When the bishop heard that she was 
coming he went out of the place where he was staying 
and sat down on the grass in the open air, and placed 
his converts, who were still wearing their baptismal 
robes, at his feet, the clergy standing round. But 
when they saw their mother approaching from afar, 
they modestly arose, and, after first bowing to the 
bishop, as was becoming, and seeking his permission, 
they advanced to meet her. When she saw them clad 
in their white baptismal robes the greatness of her joy 
stupefied her and she fell suddenly to the ground 
dissolved in tears. The bishop and clergy ran and 
lifted her up and held her and comforted her, for they 
imagined that she had collapsed owing to excess of 
grief. When, however, she had recovered her breath 
she said, " I thank Thee, Lord Jesus Christ, who art 



72 THE LIFE OF OTTO 

the author of all hope and consolation, that I behold 
my sons as recipients of Thy sacraments and adorned 
with the truth of Thy religion. For Thou knowest, 
O Lord Jesus Christ, that for many years past I have 
not ceased to commend these in my secret heart to 
Thy compassion, and to beg that Thou wouldst do for 
them what Thou hast done ; " and as she said this she 
kissed and embraced the boys. 

Then she said to the bishop, (< Blessed has been thy 
'entrance into this town, most reverend father, for 
thy perseverance has won much people to the Lord. 
Be not weaned by the delay that has occurred. I 
myself, who stand before thee trusting in the help 
of Almighty God, strengthened, O father, by thy 
presence, and relying on the support of these my 
pledges, confess that I am a Christian ; a confession 
which I have not dared to make before." She 
declared, moreover, that in the days of her youth she 
had been brought from a Christian land, and that, 
being noble and beautiful in appearance, she had been 
married to one who was rich and powerful and had 
had three sons by him. 1 The bishop then gave 
thanks to God for all that had happened and, as the 
lady made her confession, he strengthened her faith 
and her confidence by words of comfort and, in 
accordance with his generous habit, he gave her a 
valuable robe made of the skin of a crane, and at her 
request, as she had now begun to teach them with all 
confidence, he washed all her servants with the water 
of regeneration. Eventually all her neighbours and 
acquaintances, men, women and children, were re- 
ceived into the same Christian society. On the day 
in which the youths laid aside their baptismal robes, 
after eight days had elapsed, the bishop clothed them 
in gowns of fine cloth which were ornamented with 

1 The Vita Priif. (II. 9) gives quite a different account and states 
that Domizlaus had been a Christian and had been seduced into 
idolatry by his heathen concubine. 



FIRST MISSIONARY TOUR 73 

gold and needlework on the shoulders and arms. He 
gave them two golden girdles and some embroidered 
shoes; and, having strengthened them with words of 
teaching and with the sacrament of thanksgiving, he 
sent them back rejoicing to their mother's house. 
Thus, in marvellous fashion, did the blessed Otto 
make use of his gold and gifts. For in order to 
secure their salvation he offered men money and 
provided them with instruction, and, whilst he won the 
favour of his ignorant pupils by material gifts, he 
educated them by his spiritual teaching. With what 
enhanced interest he gathered from time to time his 
votive offerings into the treasure house of his Lord 
will be discerned from the following statement. 

XXIX. When the above-mentioned youths reached 
their companions they began to explain how they 
had been treated and taught by the bishop and to 
tell of his great learning and probity and of his piety 
and kindness, nor did they forget to declare how he 
excelled all others in munificence and generosity 
And in order to prove their case they said, " See how 
in addition to all his other acts of kindness, he has 
clothed us with these garments and adorned us with 
these golden girdles. At his own expense he redeems 
captives and clothes and feeds them and permits 
them to go free. Was anything like this ever seen 
or heard in Pomerania ? What acts like unto these 
are done by our pontiffs and priests ? Of a truth the 
gratuitous redemption of captives who had been 
rotting in prison, or in fetters, had caused many of 
our citizens to think that some god had come 
amongst men in visible form, but he denied this and 
said that he was not a god, but wished to be spoken 
and thought of as a servant of the most high God 
who had been sent to us to bring salvation. He said, 
moreover, that the immortality of the soul and the 
resurrection of the body and the glory of eternal life 
were part of the Christian teaching. Why should 



74 THE LIFE OF OTTO 

we not believe him?" As the pagan youths heard 
these and other like statements made by the boys, 
being assisted by the grace of God they were drawn 
and attracted by them to the same enthusiastic 
belief, and when the boys returned to the bishop, 
they drew with them many who were eager to receive 
the elements of gospel teaching. What more shall 
I say? They were instructed and baptized, and the 
hoary wisdom of parents condescended to be taught 
by boys and youths, and the flame of faith gradually 
advanced till the whole city glowed ; and the people 
came forward daily to embrace the faith, not now 
secretly nor few at a time, but openly and in large 
numbers. Meanwhile the husband of this matron 
and the father of these Christian first- fruits, who was 
far away from home on a journey, when he heard 
that his wife and sons and all his household had 
abandoned paganism and were living in a Christian 
manner, would fain have died for grief. But his wife, 
who had foreseen what might happen, sent some of 
his relations and friends to meet him and to bring 
him the balm of consolation, while she herself at home 
ceased not to offer to the Lord prayers and effective 
vows in order to secure his conversion. When there- 
fore he returned and saw not only the members of 
his household but others who were neighbours and 
fellow-citizens who had put off the old man and 
were walking in newness of life, God visited his heart 
and he was without difficulty induced to conform his 
actions to theirs. 

XXX. While these things were happening in the 
town Pauliciusand the messengers alike of the pagans 
and Christians arrived from the Duke of Polonia and, 
having accomplished that which had been commanded 
them, they brought back a letter from the king 
which read as follows : " Bolezlaus, by the favour of 
Almighty God, Duke of Polonia, and the enemy of 
all pagans, to the Pomeranian race and to the people 



FIRST MISSIONARY TOUR 75 

of Stettin who remain true to their pledges and 
promises offers firm peace and lasting friendship, but 
to those who do not observe them, slaughter and 
burning and lasting hostility. If I desired an occasion 
to attack you I could be justly indignant because I 
perceive that you have not kept faith but have gone 
back therefrom and have not received in befitting 
manner my lord and father Bishop Otto, who is 
worthy of all honour and reverence and whose fame 
is spread amongst all peoples and races, who has 
moreover been sent from God by our instrumentality 
to promote your salvation ; neither have ye been 
obedient to his teaching according to the fear of 
God. 

"All these things constitute a strong indictment 
against you, but my representatives and your own, 
who are honourable and prudent men, have intervened 
on your behalf, and more especially the bishop him- 
self who is staying with you and who is your evange- 
list and apostle. I have judged it right therefore to 
accede to their advice and petition, and have decided 
to lighten your burden of servitude and tribute so that 
ye may with greater readiness take upon you the 
yoke of Christ. The whole land of the Pomeranian 
peoples is to pay as a public tribute to the Duke of 
Polonia, whoever he may be, only 300 silver marks 
year by year. If war assail him they are to assist 
him in the following manner. Every nine heads of j 
households shall equip for the war the tenth with 
arms and money and shall meanwhile carefully 1 
provide for his household. If ye keep this agree-'"" 
ment and conform to the Christian religion, ye shall 
obtain peace from my outstretched hand, and the 
joy of eternal life, and on all occasions ye shall 
receive as friends and allies the protection and 
support of the people of Polonia." An assembly wa? 
thereupon held at which these statements were read 
out in the presence of the people and the chiefs, who 



r 



76 THE LIFE OF OTTO 

eagerly took the oaths, rejoicing more than if as at 
Nacla x they had been subdued by arms, and they 
submitted themselves to gospel teaching. The 
bishop then seized the occasion and ascended a 
pulpit and said, " It has now become my duty to 
speak to you. Rejoice in the Lord always, again I 
say rejoice: 2 let your moderation, your faith, and 
your conversion be known unto all : let it be known 
to the whole world. For the whole world has been 
distressed on account of your unbelief. For, my 
beloved brethren, the whole world as far as this 
corner of your land recognizes the light of truth, and 
yet you desire to remain in darkness. Let it be your 
shame and regret that you have not hitherto re- 
cognized your Creator. As therefore you have been 
late in turning to Him, you should run with the 
greater eagerness and hasten to overtake those who 
have preceded you in the faith, and your desire should 
be that those who have mourned over your blindness 
should be able to rejoice over your illumination in 
Christ. And first of all, being armed with the sign 
of the Cross, you must immediately renounce those 
who have deceived you, your gods who are deaf and 
dumb, your graven images and the unclean spirits 
that are in them : you must destroy the temples and 
break in pieces the images, so that when His enemies 
have been cast out by you, your Lord God, who is 
the living and true God, may condescend to dwell 
in your midst. For, unless you cast away all other 
gods, He cannot look upon you with favour. For 
He refuses and disdains any alliance with other gods 
and His temple has nothing in common with idols. 
But I know that you do not yet fully believe, I know 
that you fear the demons that inhabit your temples 
and graven images, and that therefore you will not 
dare to destroy them. Will you, however, permit me 
and my brother priests and clergy to attack the 

1 See Herborclus II. 5. 2 Phil. iv. 4. 



FIRST MISSIONARY TOUR 77 

images and the temples with their pointed roofs? 1 
and if you see that we are protected by the sign of 
the holy cross and remain uninjured, then, protected 
by the same victorious symbol, you may join with 
us in destroying the doors and walls with axes and 
hatchets and in overthrowing and burning them." 

XXXI. When they had heard and agreed to this 
suggestion, the bishop and the priests celebrated mass, 
and having received the communion, armed them- 
selves with axes and hoes 2 and proceeded to attack 
the temples, and after having cut clown and de- 
molished everything they climbed the roofs and tore 
them down. Meanwhile, the inhabitants stood watch- 
ing to see what their unhappy gods would do, and 
whether, or not, they would defend their own houses. 
But when they saw that no evil befel the destroyers, 
they said, " If these gods, whose temples and sacred 
places are being torn down, possessed any divine 
power, they would surely defend themselves, but if 
they are unable to defend or help themselves, how 
can they defend or help us ? " Saying this they made 
an attack and overthrew and destroyed everything, 
and they divided amongst themselves the wooden 
materials and carried them to their own houses to be 
used for cooking their bread and food. And as it 
was held to be right that he who seized most should 
have most, all the four temples which had pointed 
roofs (contince] were broken down and demolished 
with marvellous rapidity. In case any reader fail to 
understand the meaning or origin of the word contince z 
it should be known that most words in the Slavonic 
language are connected with Latin ; we suppose 
therefore that the word contince was in ancient time 
derived from continere (to hold together). 

1 See Note 3. 

2 sarpis. We should probably read sarculis. 

3 Another more probable derivation is from the Polish word koneyna, 
which means a point or end of line. The word would therefore probably 
denote a building with pointed or steep roof. 

F 



7 8 THE LIFE OF OTTO 

XXXII. Now there were in the town of Stettin 
four temples, 1 of which the principal one was built 
with marvellous care and skill. It had sculptures 
within and without and from the walls projected 
images of men, birds and beasts, the appearance of 
which was so natural that they might have been 
thought to be living and breathing ; another thing 
especially remarkable was that owing to the care 
that had been taken by the painters over their work 
the colours of the images outside could not be dimmed 
or washed off either by snow or rain. Into this 
temple the people brought, in accordance with the 
ancient custom of their ancestors, the stores and arms 
of their enemies which they captured, and whatever 
spoils they took by land or by sea, as they were 
directed to do by the law relating to the giving of 
a tenth. They had placed here gold and silver bowls 
with which their nobles and great men were accus- 
tomed to predict events and to feast and drink, and 
which on festival days might be brought out as from 
a sanctuary. They had also preserved there for the 
honour and adornment of their gods horns of wild 
bulls covered with gold and interspersed with gems, 
some for use as drinking cups and others as musical 
instruments ; swords also and knives and much valu- 
able furniture which was rare and beautiful in appear- 
ance. All these things they decided should be given 
to the bishop and the priests when the temple had 
been destroyed. But he said, "Be it far from me 
that we should be enriched by you, for we have at 
home things like these and even better ; do you 
rather, who are the owners of them, distribute them 
for your own use and with the blessing of God." 
And after sprinkling them all with water that had 
been blessed he made over them the sign of the holy 
cross and commanded that they should divide them 
among themselves. Now there was a three-headed 

1 Vita Priif. gives the number as two. 



FIRST MISSIONARY TOUR 79 

image which had its three heads on one body and 
was called Triglav. This with its three small heads 
adhering to part of the body was the only thing that 
he took ; he carried it away with him as a trophy and 
afterwards sent it to Rome as a proof of the conversion 
of this people, so that the Apostolic Lord 1 and the 
whole Church might see what results he had attained 
amongst this race by pulling up and planting, by 
building and destroying. There were three other 
temples which were held in lower estimation and 
were less ornamented. Only seats and tables had 
been built round on the inside as the people were 
accustomed to hold councils and meetings there, for 
on certain days and hours they used to come to these 
temples either to drink or to play, or to transact 
serious business. There was also there a large and 
shady oak tree with a delightful fountain underneath, 
which the simple-minded people regarded as rendered 
sacred by the presence of a certain god, and treated 
with great veneration. After the destruction of the 
temples the people begged the bishop not to cut it 
down as he wished to do. They promised moreover 
that they would never again venerate in the name of 
religion either that tree or place, and said that it was 
only for the sake of its shade and its other attractions, 
which were not in themselves unlawful, that they 
desired to save it and they did not desire to be saved 
by it. When the bishop had received this promise 
he said, " I agree concerning this tree, but there is a 
living creature from which you obtain oracles which 
must be taken away, as it is not lawful for Christians 
to practise augury or soothsaying." 

XXXIII. Now the people possessed ajioxse.of 
great size which was plump, dark-coloured and very 
spirited. It did no work throughout the year and 
was regarded as being so holy that no one was worthy 
to ride it. It had also as its attentive guardian one 

1 i. e. Honorius II. 



8o THE LIFE OF OTTO 

of the four priests who were attached to the temples. 
Whenever the people contemplated setting out on 
any expedition by land to attack their enemies, or in 
order to secure booty, they were accustomed to fore- 
cast the result in this way. Nine spears were placed 
on the ground separated from one another by the 
space of a cubit. When then the horse had been 
made ready and was bridled, the priest, who was in 
charge of it, led the horse three times backwards and 
forwards across the spears that were lying on the 
ground. If the horse crossed without knocking its 
feet or disturbing the spears, they regarded this as an 
omen of success and proceeded on their expedition 
without anxiety, but if the result were otherwise they 
remained inactive. Although some of the people 
vehemently objected, nevertheless, by the help of 
God, the bishop at length completely did away with 
all auguries of this kind and with the calculations 
that were made with dry wood, by which they sought 
for auguries in view of a naval battle or a predatory 
expedition, and as he feared that the horse, which 
was used for this evil purpose, should be a snare or 
cause of stumbling to these simple people, he ordered 
that it should be sold and sent to another country, 
and said that it was better fitted to be a chaiiot horse 
than to furnish predictions. When, as a result of the 
bishop's teaching, they had cast away all their super- 
stitions and follies, he admonished them that they 
should regard all Christians as their brothers, and 
should not sell or kill them or take spoil from them, 1 
but should behave towards all of them in a fraternal 
and neighbourly manner and should expect the same 
conduct from them in return. 

And inasmuch as it was monstrously cruel to kill 
female infants he urged the women to agree that 
this should not occur again. For up to that time, 

1 Herbordus adds that they should not take them captive and torture 
them or disturb the boundaries of their lands. 



FIRST MISSIONARY TOUR 81 

if any woman had given birth to many daugh- 
ters, the people were accustomed to kill some of them 
in order that they might provide the more easily for 
the rest. Moreover they did not consider this to be 
murder. 

XXX IV. When then the city had been purged of 
its monstrous wickedness and filth and the practice 
of polygamy had been abandoned, those who had 
secretly accepted the faith before the people generally 
had given their consent, assisted and joined in the 
work of evangelization ; instruction was given in the 
streets and open places, the gospel trumpet was 
sounded, crosses were erected, the crucifix was adored, 
the name of Christ was upon every tongue and 
occupied the attention of all, and everyone either 
learnt, or taught, the Christian faith. In this city, 
which was of such great size and contained nine 
hundred fathers of families besides little children and 
women and a large number of other persons, there 
was no one found who, after the people had given 
their consent to the faith, tried to draw back from 
the truth of the Gospel, with the exception of the 
priest who had been in charge of the horse to which 
we have referred. After he had wearied the bishop 
by his great insolence and had sowed tares above the 
good seed, he was on a certain day earnestly entreated 
by the people (to desist) and was at the same time 
vanquished in argument by the bishop. 

Continuing, however, in his obstinate refusal to 
accept the truth, he was by divine vengeance afflicted 
with a swelling of his belly and after much pain and 
outcry he died. This event produced great fear 
throughout the whole city and all the people praised 
Christ and declared that God was the mighty 
upholder of His own law. 

XXXVI. When the shrines and images had been j 
destroyed and the priest had been punished by God, 
the victorious Cross was erected, and baptisteries 



82 THE LIFE OF OTTO 

were built, and fenced round with screens and every- 
thing was arranged in a religious and fitting manner. 
The people then, after being instructed and taught 
for several days, came forward, with all seriousness 
and in due order, to receive the water of regeneration, 
having first washed themselves completely in the 
baths, and having put on pure and clean garments. 
They carried also burning candles and their white 
baptismal robes, and, inflamed with an eager desire to 
receive the Holy Spirit, they sang, each in his own 
heart, " As the hart panteth after the water springs, 
so panteth my soul after thee, O God. My soul is 
athirst for God, the living fountain ; when shall I 
come and appear in the presence of the Lord ? " l 
Their spiritual father contemplated in silence the 
fervour and zeal of his children, though his spirit was 
uplifted by the greatness of his joy ; and as his tears 
of joy gushed forth whilst occupied by his task he 
gave vent to his exultation and said, " Come, ye 
children, hearken unto me, I will teach you the fear 
of the Lord ; draw near to Him and be enlightened 
and your faces shall not be ashamed." 2 The words 
of the exhortation used by the priest were peculiarly 
apposite, for he beheld that which his companions 
watched with profound amazement and which the 
people themselves bid us observe, that on the 
countenances of all who had been baptized there 
shone a light of joy and spiritual grace so that the 
baptized could be as easily distinguished from the 
unbaptized, as light from darkness. It was possible 
then for all to see what the Spirit of darkness could 
bestow upon his worshippers and what God the lover 
and author of light could bestow upon those who love 
Him. Happy souls from the town itself and from all 
the surrounding provinces ran together eager to enter 
the royal wedding feast. The bishop himself 
baptized the boys apart from the others, while somq 

1 Ps. xlii, I, 3. 8 Ps. xxxiv. 2, 5. 



FIRST MISSIONARY TOUR 83 

of the priests baptized the men and others the 
women, each separately. In the case of all they 
acted as the servants of God, and the people, 
liberated as from Egyptian bondage, crossed the 
enriching sea and, as in olden time the law was 
proclaimed at Mount Sinai, so the people were 
taught what Christians must avoid and seek ; and, 
being fully instructed in the faith, they gave careful 
attention and were eager to do what they were 
taught. 

They continued then in the same place engaged as 
busy workers for nearly three months more, destroy- 
ing and building up, pulling down and planting and 
watering that which had been planted, whilst the 
Lord's field provided for His cultivators necessary 
subsistence with pleasing and rich abundance. For 
in all things that pertained to the supply of their 
wants the people were generous and kind, and they 
desired that if it should prove to be possible, they 
might never again be separated from them. When 
all things had been arranged which were thought to 
be beneficial to the newly formed Christian community, 
a church was built with great care in the midst of the 
market-place of Stettin, and everything that was 
necessary for the performance of the priestly office 
was provided and the bishop arranged that a priest 
should be appointed to preside over the people, even 
as he did in all other places.] 

X. We must not omit to mention how, through the 
witness borne by a miracle, the Lord deigned to 
render famous His faithful labourer who toiled 
manfully on His behalf even as He had declared by 
the mouth of the prophet : " Whoso glorifieth Me, 
him will I glorify." 1 Two women, who were still 
entangled in the errors of heathenism, were seriously 
jll, so much so that they were deprived of all use of 

1 I Sam. ii. 30. 



84 THE LIFE OF OTTO 

their limbs and appeared to be about to die. Otto 
went to them and declared to them the way of 
salvation, as they were able to receive it, and, ventur- 
ing to rely upon the mercy of Christ, he promised 
them that if they would believe and be baptized, they 
should receive healing not only of the soul, but of the 
body, and should become completely well. Having 
made this promise the servant of God forthwith 
prayed and placed his hands on their heads, and 
fortified them with the sign of the cross and words of 
benediction, whereupon their pains were immediately 
put to flight and they were restored to their former 
health. Being set free then by the prayers of the 
holy bishop from a double death, that is a death 
of body and soul, they were regenerated by the water 
of salvation with great joy. They were, moreover, 
the cause of the salvation and conversion of many. 

XI. The people of Julin, who had before driven 
away from them the herald of truth, when they heard 
that the inhabitants of Stettin had received the faith, 
began, in accordance with God's good pleasure, to 
feel remorse, and despatched messengers of rank to 
recall the man of God. When Otto saw them, he 
was moved with holy zeal and said, " Why have you 
come to me whom you hated and drove away from 
you ? " They, however, made humble apology and 
begged for pardon, saying, " Honoured father, we did 
not dare to infringe the ancient law of our fathers 
and ancestors without having obtained the approval 
of the leaders whom we revere in Stettin, which is 
our chief city. But now that your God has, through 
your instrumentality, subjected our leaders to Him- 
self, all our resistance is at an end, and we are ready 
to submit to your counsels and to receive the teach- 
ing of salvation." When he heard this the bishop 
knelt and gave thanks to God, and, setting out with 
the messengers, he was received by the inhabitants of 
Julin with due reverence and opened to those who 



FIRST MISSIONARY TOUR 85 

were in error the way of truth, and, purifying them by 
the sacrament of baptism, he united to God His 
adopted people. The number of those baptized at 
this time was reckoned at twenty-two thousand, one 
hundred and fifty-six men. All these who, on 
account of their ignorance of their Creator and their 
worship of material things, might be compared to the 
foolish beasts of burden and were made like unto 
them, 1 did the holy father lead into the true path and 
teach to offer a rational service to the living God. 
Every man who is without the knowledge of his 
Creator is a mere animal. 

XII. It is worth while to draw attention to the 
circumstances attending the preaching of Otto for the 
sake of those who will come after, so that the inquiring 
reader should not fail to obtain the information he 
desires. For his great love of Christ and his enthu- 
siasm, which in those times was well-nigh unique, 
ought not to be lightly esteemed. Whilst other 
bishops were more eager to build cities and castles 
than churches or dwellings for Christ's poor, and 
were content to continue in listless ease rather than 
to approach the distant territories of barbarians for 
the sake of preaching the gospel, the thoughts of 
this blessed servant of God were of a far different 
kind. Never at any time did he devote his energies to 
the building of fortifications or towns, as he said with 
the apostle, " we have here no abiding city, but we look 
for one which is to come." 2 Accordingly he built 
year by year churches dedicated to Christ, cells also 
for the faithful and guest houses, with so great 
devotion and liberality that his actions were a cause 
of astonishment and admiration to all men. And 
though his engrossing employment in promoting the 
worship of God in Teutonic lands might well have 
excused him from the arduous toil involved in farther 
journeys as a messenger of the Gospel, he was by no 

1 Ps. xlix. 13. 3 Heb, xiii, 14. 



86 THE LIFE OF OTTO 

means content with what had been accomplished, but 
strove to widen and extend the love which was 
spread abroad in his heart by the Holy Spirit, to 
include even the remotest Pomeranian tribe, so that 
he might there beget through the preaching of the 
gospel a people to be the Lord's possession and to 
become sons of God. To such he might be able 
to say with joy in the words of St. Paul, " What is our 
hope, or joy, or crown of glory ? Are not ye in the 
presence of the Lord Jesus Christ at His coming? 
For ye are our glory and joy, and the proof of my 
apostleship." * We will clearly set forth for those who 
desire to know the times of his most happy apostle- 
ship and the teaching which was supported by his 
ecclesiastical authority. 

In the year of our Lord eleven hundred and twenty- 
four, that is in the second " indiction," 2 when 
Calixtus the second occupied the papal chair at Rome, 
Otto by the grace of God, eighth bishop of the Church 
of Bamberg, inflamed by the fire of divine love and 
strengthened by the apostolic authority already 
mentioned, approached part of the territory belonging 
to the Pomeranian pagans and certain towns of 
Leuticia, in order that he might recall them from the 
error of idolatry and might lead them into the way of 
truth and to a knowledge of Christ the Son of God. 
And when, by the help of the Lord, these had been 
converted and baptized, he built and consecrated 
churches, and taught the people to observe the 
ordinances of the holy fathers. Thus he taught them 
to abstain on Fridays from flesh and milk, after the 
manner of Christians; and on the Lord's Day to 
abandon all secular 3 work and come to church in 
order to hear the divine Office ; and to offer assiduous 

1 i Thess. i. 19; i Cor. ix. 2. 

2 Indictio denotes a period of fifteen years. The account which fol- 
lows, /. e. to end cf Chap. XII., was written down by the order of Otto 
himself. See statement by Ekkehardus, Mon. Germ. SS. VI. 263. 

? malo, lit. evil. 



FIRST MISSIONARY TOUR 87 

and earnest prayers. He taught them also to keep 
the Saints' Days and their vigils with all diligence, as 
had been explained to them, and to observe carefully 
the holy season of Lent by fasting, watching, alms- 
giving and prayers, and to bring their infants to be 
baptized on the Passover sabbath and at Pentecost, 
accompanied by their godparents and with candles 
and the hood, which is called the " white robe." 
He taught them too that when the infants had been 
dressed in the robes of innocence they were to bring 
them to church day by day till the eighth day and to 
see that they were present at the celebration of the 
divine Office. He strictly forbade also the murder of 
daughters, which was a very common crime amongst 
them, and taught them that they should not bring 
their own sons and daughters to be baptized, but 
should seek godparents for them, and that the children 
should trust and love their godparents even as their 
natural parents. He forbade also anyone to have as 
his wife the child of his own mother, or any relation 
as far as the sixth and even seventh generation, and 
ordered that each man should be content with one 
wife, and that the Christian dead should not be buried 
with the heathen in the woods or the fields, but 
in cemeteries, as is the custom of all Christians ; that 
they should not place sticks on their tombs, and 
should abandon all pagan customs and depraved 
practices ; that they should not build idol temples, 
nor visit witches 1 or act as soothsayers, and that they 
should not eat anything unclean, nor that which had 
died of itself, or had been suffocated, or offered as 
a sacrifice to idols, nor should they eat the blood of 
animals. They should not participate with pagans, 
nor take food or drink with them or in their vessels, 
nor should they revert to pagan customs in all these 
matters. He enjoined upon them that while they 

1 For phitonissas we should probably read pythonissas. This \voict 
is applied to the witch of Endor in the Vul^nte : i Chron. x. 13. 



88 THE LIFE OF OTTO 

were in health they should come to the priests of the 
Church and confess their sins, and when they were 
sick they should call the presbyters to them and after 
having been purified by confession should receive the 
Body of the Lord. He instructed them also that 
they should display penitence in respect of perjury, 
adultery, homicide, and other crimes in accordance 
with the canonical ordinances, and should obediently 
observe all the rules of the Christian faith ; and lastly 
that women after childbirth should come to church 
and receive the customary blessing of the priest. 

XIII. The idol priests alone refused to accept the 
right way and laid many snares for the Lord's servant, 
whom they sought to destroy secretly. But when 
multitudes hastened day by day to accept the faith, 
the sacrilegious and profane priests found no means 
to approach him, but, being confused and awestruck 
by his appearance, after the example of the magicians 
Zaroes and Arfaxat, who fled from Christ's apostles 
Matthew, Simeon and Judas, 1 they left that district 
and retired to a distance. And because they were 
not able to raise an open persecution against God's 
servant, they tried to injure him by slanders and 
horrible blasphemies ; and wherever they went they 
stirred up envy and hatred against him, 'and heaped 
upon him infamies and reproaches. As a recompense 
for this, however, the worthy bishop obtained from the 
Lord the greater grace, for as it is written, 2 " The 
blessing of the Lord is upon the head of the just," so 
God bestowed upon him an eternal inheritance in 
heaven, and he found favour in the sight of all men. 

When the temples and the idol images had been 
destroyed by Otto, the sacrilegious priests carried 
away by stealth outside the province the golden 
image of Triglav which was chiefly worshipped by 

1 For an account of this incident see " Acta S- Matthaei apostoli " in. 
the Acta SS. Sep. VI. 220, 

2 Prov. x, 6. 



FIRST MISSIONARY TOUR 89 

the people, and committed it to the care of a certain 
widow who lived in a small country house where 
it was not likely to be looked for. The widow for 
a stipulated reward took charge of this profane image 
and shut it up as a man shuts the pupil of his eye. 
For this purpose the trunk of a great tree was 
hollowed out, and the image of Triglav, after being 
covered with a cloak, was placed inside so that 
no opportunity of seeing, not to say rinding it, was 
afforded to anyone. Only a small hole was left 
in the trunk where a sacrificial offering might be 
inserted, nor did anyone enter the house except for 
the purpose of offering an idolatrous sacrifice. 

The famous apostle of Pomerania, on hearing this, 
considered many plans for getting to the place, for he 
feared, as eventually proved to be the case, that after 
his departure this image might bring harm to the 
people who were ignorant and not yet confirmed in 
the faith. But, being endowed with great sagacity, 
he wisely reflected that if he were to announce that 
he was going thither publicly, the priests would hear 
of his coming and would again remove the image of 
Triglav secretly to some more remote place. Accord- 
ingly he wisely determined to send secretly to the 
widow's house one of his companions named Hermann, 
who was acquainted with the speech of the barbarians 
and was a man of understanding and intelligence. 
He directed him to assume the native dress, and to 
pretend that he was going to sacrifice to Triglav. 
Hermann then bought a native cap and cloak and, 
after encountering many dangers in the course of his 
difficult journey, he came at length to the house of 
the widow and declared that, as the result of an 
appeal to his god Triglav, he had been delivered 
from a tempestuous sea and desired to offer a fitting 
sacrifice as a token of gratitude for his safety. He 
said also that he had been led thither in a marvellous 
manner and by unknown ways. The widow replied, 



90 THE LIFE OF OTTO 

"If you have been sent by the god, behold the 
sanctuary in which our god is detained, shut up in a 
hollow tree. Himself indeed you cannot see or 
touch, but prostrate yourself in front of the tree and 
note from a distance the small opening into which 
you may put the sacrifice that you have vowed. 
When you have placed it there, shut the door 
reverently and go out, and if you desire to preserve 
your life be careful to tell no one what I have said." 
He entered eagerly into this sanctuary and threw 
into the hole a piece of silver in order that the 
sound of the falling metal might suggest that he 
had offered a sacrifice. But he quickly drew back 
what he had thrown, and so far from showing 
honour to Triglav he displayed his contempt for it 
by spitting. He then examined it more closely to see 
if there was any means by which he could accomplish 
the business for which he had been sent, -and he 
noticed that the image of Triglav had been pressed 
into the trunk so carefully and firmly that it could 
not possibly be pulled out or moved. At this he was 
greatly distressed and doubted as to what he could 
do, and he said to himself, " Alas that I have traversed 
so much sea to no purpose. What shall I say to my 
lord, or who will believe that I have been here if I 
return empty ? " Looking round he noticed that the 
seat of Triglav was fixed to a wall close by : it was of 
great antiquity and was of very little use. He leapt 
with joy and, pulling from the wall this inauspicious 
gift, he made off. He started early in the night and 
with all haste rejoined his master and his companions, 
-to whom he narrated all that he had done, and 
showed the seat of Triglav in order to confirm the 
truth of his statements. The apostle of Pomerania, 
after taking counsel with his companions, decided 
that he and they ought to refrain from further search 
for the idol for fear lest it should appear that he was 
prompted to do this not by his zeal for justice but by 



FIRST MISSIONARY TOUR 91 

his desire to secure the gold. When then the chiefs 
and elders had been brought together he exacted of 
them an oath that they would entirely abandon the 
worship of Triglav and, after breaking up his image, 
would use all the gold for the redemption of 
captives. 

XIV. But while "the strong man armed " who had 
hitherto possessed Pomerania as his house was over- 
come by Christ, who was stronger and who dis- 
tributed the spoils, and while his arms were shattered 
by the good bishop, he could not endure his forcible 
exclusion from his own dwelling-places, but as a 
roaring lion he sought to do, even if it were but a 
little, harm to God's servant. And as he could find 
nothing else that he could do because he was pre- 
vented by the Lord, he destroyed the greater part of 
Bamberg by an unexpected and dangerous fire, so 
that when the noble shepherd had completed his 
preaching amongst strangers and joyfully revisited 
his spouse, he found nothing intact but found her 
injured and afflicted with sorrow. It was on the 
night on which the festival of the holy martyr 
Hermes was being celebrated by whose body this 
place had been distinguished from the beginning by 
its blessed founder, Henry that the lamentable fire 
started, having been occasioned by a certain woman 
who was in the act of childbirth. The fire imme- 
diately seized upon everything round with great i 
violence, and created so great a devastation round 
the town that the houses which escaped were few and--' 
far between. The town itself with its churches that 
were built inside and outside of it remained uninjured, 
thanks to the protection of the blessed Hermes and 
of its other defenders. So the fraud and malice of 
the crafty enemy were brought to nothing, for the 
chaste spouse of Bamberg soon dispersed the dark 
cloud of this calamity when her father, like the 
splendour of the undimmed sun, returned to it, and 



92 THE LIFE OF OTTO 

the devil was unable to hold any longer the house 
which he had possessed in security. For when Christ 
reigned, through the apostleship of the holy Otto, in 
Pomerania the sword of the enemy came to an end 
and their cities were destroyed. 

XV. Many of the people of Julin had gone across 
the sea on business, and when they heard of the 
conversion of their fellow-citizens, they, being assisted 
by the Spirit of God, began to emulate their con- 
duct, and when they returned to their metropolis 
submitted their necks to the yoke of Christ the 
King of kings, and were forthwith baptized by 
the presbyters whom Otto had established there ; 
and, being imbued with like devotion, they were 
united to their fellow-citizens who had already 
adopted the laws of the Christians. And as the 
faithful preachers of the truth strove to further God's 
work, the Church throughout that whole district 
increased and became strong, whilst the Lord added 
daily to it those who should be saved. 1 The Apostle 
of the Pomeranians established there two churches, 
one in the town of Julin in honour of the saints 
Adalbert 2 and Weneslaus, 3 who were greatly renowned 
among the barbarians, on the site where the profane 
rites of devil worship were formerly performed ; so 
that in place of base commercial trade the Christian 
services might henceforth be carried on. The other 
church he built outside the town in a wide and 
pleasant plain in memory of the blessed chief of the 
apostles, and there it was that he established the 
episcopal seat. 

[H. XXXVI. Now the people of Julin had, without 

1 Acts ii. 47. 

2 The Vita Priif. (II. 13) says that he dedicated this church to 
Adalbert because he believed that the conversion of the people of Julin 
was largely due to his intercessory prayers. 

3 Vita Priif. (I I. 16) reads Georgus. St. George was the patron 
saint of the Prufling monastery. 



FIRST MISSIONARY TOUR 93 

the knowledge of the bishop, sent certain wary and 
expert men to find out secretly what had happened 
there and whether or not the bishop was being 
received by its inhabitants, and with instructions to 
learn and report the methods and aims of the bishop. 
When they had examined everything with the utmost 
care and had found no trace of imposture or of guile 
in the preachers and had observed that the inhabi- 
tants of Stettin had, although somewhat late, unani- 
mously accepted the faith, they returned to their own 
people and, after the manner of apostles or evangelists, 
though no Christians were present, they as pagans 
speaking to pagans, ceased not to declare how many 
good things they had seen and heard and how good 
and pure were the Christian faith and teaching. 

And as their words flashed forth little by little, the 
whole city was inflamed, even as a reed burns in the 
fire, and the people soon began to show disgust and 
horror at their abominations and to renounce their 
idols and the errors in which they had been held. 
The bishop, moreover, remembering the agreement 
in accordance with which he had retired from them, 
contemplated proceeding with haste to visit them 
after the conversion of Stettin. He was, however, 
asked to visit first of all two small towns, namely, 
Gradicia 1 and Lubinum, which belonged to the town 
of Stettin and were situated on its border. 

But when these men had received the Gospel 
teaching, as a thirsty land receives rain, they were 
initiated into the sacraments of the faith, an altar 
was built and consecrated in each town, and priests 
were ordained, and the bishop and his companions 
having sailed with a favourable wind along the Odor 
to the sea, reached the shores of Julin. 

I .cannot describe the joy and exultation with which 
we were received there and the humble apologies 
with which they besought us to forget the injuries 

1 i. e. Garz, on the River Oder. 
G 



94 THE LIFE OF OTTO 

that we had before received. Nor did they hesitate 
to fulfil the conditions on which they could become 
Christians, whether it was to learn or to do, to accept 
or to cast away ; so that you might have seen a 
fulfilment of the Scripture which says, " He spake 
the word and they were made," l and again, " A 
people whom I have not known has served me, and 
on hearing of me has become obedient to me." 2 
This change was brought about by the Most High. 
For those whom they had before driven roughly from 

I their borders with pikes and clubs they treated after- 
wards with the utmost kindness and respect, as though 
they had been angels come to them from heaven, and 
they regarded their words and actions as sacred and 
even divine. But why say more ? The whole town 
and province and all their inhabitants turned to the 
Lord, and so great was the multitude of men and 
women and children of both sexes that in the course 
of two months, although we continued at the task 
without ceasing, we were hardly able to baptize them 
all. God, who sees everything, saw how much exer- 
tion and toil Otto, of ever-sacred memory, underwent 
whilst speaking, crying aloud to a multitude of 
people, baptizing and performing many other actions. 
Inasmuch as this town was situated in the centre of 
Pomerania and inasmuch as the citizens of Julin were 
warlike and stiff-necked, both the Duke Wortizlaus 
and the chiefs of the country decided that the seat of 
the bishopric should be established there, in order 
that, as a result of the continuous presence of the 
teacher, a fierce race might become mild and might 
not return to its former errors, and because the holy 
oil and the other things which are to be obtained 
from a bishop might more easily be carried from the 

1 Ps. cxlviii. 5. 

2 Ps. xviii. 4 f . The Hebrew text reads, "A people whom I have 
not known shall serve me ; as soon as they hear of me they shall obey 
me." 



FIRST MISSIONARY TOUR 95 

centre of the country to its boundaries. Accordingly 
the bishop ordered that two churches should be erected 
there, though he consecrated only the altars and the 
sanctuary, because the rest of the buildings was 
meanwhile being erected, and as he was in haste to 
go elsewhere, he had not time to await their 
completion.] 

XVI. As the good teacher prolonged his stay there 
for the benefit of their souls, very many of his flock, 
not only in Bamberg, but of those who were collected 
together in monasteries, or in ecclesiastical parishes, 
became incredibly anxious and distressed in view of 
the long-continued absence of their great pastor, and 
endeavoured by every means to bring him back to 
them. With this object they sent frequent messengers 
to him and added prayers to prayers and redoubled 
the expression of their eager desires. Nor did they 
cease to agitate for his return by sending letters 
which bore witness to their filial love. One of these 
deserves to be inserted here, both on account of its 
own charm and as a lasting reminiscence of its pious 
author, the Abbot Wignand. The letter reads thus. 

" To the beloved lord and father, the holy bishop 
Otto, who is also the Apostle of the Pomeranian 
people, Wignand, the unworthy overseer of the Tha- 
risian monastery, renders his devoted service, and 
offers on his behalf the prayers that are his due. 

" Blessed be God the Father of mercies and the 
Father of lights who formed you from the womb to 
be His servant l and gave you as a light to the 
Gentiles, 2 that His salvation might be proclaimed by 
you in the furthest parts of the earth and that the 
darkened hearts of the Gentiles might be illuminated 
by the light of faith. Wherefore the holy Mother, 
the Church, rejoices fittingly in the recent increase of 
her sons, whilst as a result of your ministry many 

1 Isa. xlix. 5. 2 Isa. xlix. 6. 



96 THE LIFE OF OTTO 

thousands of a barbarous nation are born again in 
holy baptism, who, after casting away the worship of 
idols and destroying their temples, have built them 
again as churches, and serve and worship the true 
God. Since then the Gospel has been preached to 
those who were strangers and the task of your great 
ministry has been completed, the whole flock comes 
with joy to meet the pastor as he returns to his own 
sheep. Clergy and people alike, together with a line 
of monks, receive their own father with great delight, 
singing with joy and exultation, ' Return, return, O 
Shulammite, return, return, that we may look upon 
thee/ 1 I, who was the least of all these, though 
second to none in faith and whole-hearted love, came 
to Saxony about the time of the feast of St. Mauri- 
cius, 2 desiring greatly to meet my lord and that I 
might be the first to receive him as I was the last to 
escort him when he went out. But when your mes- 
senger came back I was disappointed of my expecta- 
tion, though I rejoiced greatly at your return and, 
because I could not do so in the body, I strove to be 
the first to salute my lord in the spirit of humility, 
saying not only with my lips but with great joy of 
heart, 

" Hail, Father, I with reverence meet, 
In verse do my great leader greet, 
Return, desire and hope of all, 
To thee thy sheep for healing call. 

u We would not have you ignorant, holy father, 
that since your departure we have had constant 
trouble and tribulation. For that tyrant Conracl 
has stayed for nearly a whole year in the castle of 
Nurenberg and has ravaged the property near by that 
belongs to the bishopric. He has taken part of the 
corn that belonged to you and has ordered that 
money should be paid to him ; he has twice taken 

1 Cant. vi. 13. 2 i. e. Sept. 22. 



FIRST MISSIONARY TOUR 97 

captive and despoiled of his property the steward 
from Rostal ; it is said that he has also endeavoured 
with cunning craft to seize the town of Bamberg, but, 
thanks be to God, his wickedness has not prospered. 
For I and Cunrad its guardian, who were eager to 
perform the task entrusted to us, placed a watch over 
the town and guards in addition to your other ser- 
vants. We also built walls around it and have paid 
the money that was needed to the soldiers, and have 
taken diligent care of all the other matters which 
you entrusted to us. Hermann and Frederic are at 
bitter enmity, and lay many plots against each other; 
robbery is repaid by robbery and burning by burning ; 
moreover the house which is situated below Lapidi 
Boton, 1 has been burnt together with the church. 
One night Frederic and his soldiers entered the 
fortress of Nienstein secretly and began to make a 
vigorous attack upon it, but those who were in the 
citadel hurled javelins and threw stones and killed 
one of the soldiers and wounded many others. Ac- 
cordingly, without finishing his business, he escaped 
with difficulty together with his men. Throughout 
the whole province, moreover, much evil is done and 
everything is being destroyed by robbery or fire. It 
is because we hope that your coming will put an end 
to so many evils and miseries that each and all of us 
cry, Come, Lord, come, hasten and delay not, come, 
thou for whom we long, and whom amid the darkness 
of so many troubles we await. The condition of 
your other affairs in Bavaria and Saxony is satisfac- 
tory. In regard to the matter especially committed 
to my charge, 2 I would have you know that we have 
secured seven hundred, and yet another hundred 
(pounds) of copper, three hundred of which we 
have brought with the greatest difficulty to Schmal- 

1 i. e, Botonstein. 

2 i. e. to cover the roof of St. Peter's church at Bamberg with 
copper. See Chap. XVII, 



98 THE LIFE OF OTTO 

chalten. 1 Now, with our resources exhausted, with 
burning desire we expect your help and with diffi- 
culty await the return of )'our holiness, which is 
eagerly desired by the whole kingdom." 

This is the letter written by the loving hand of the 
holy father Wignand. 

XVII. This is that Wignand, the delightful 
preacher, whom the holy Otto chose as his faithful 
counsellor, 2 and regarded with such great love and 
reverence that he shared with him all his secrets ; 
and when the guardianship of the town was specially 
committed to him he entrusted to his care the noble 
task which he had himself commenced, to cover with 
copper plates, so as to protect from fire, the larger 
church of St. Peter together with its towers ; nor was 
his action unjustified. 

For he was a man of the greatest wisdom and 
sagacity, whom it was the glory of our order to see 
and hear. He not only excelled in spiritual grace, 
but was beloved by all for the beauty of his person 
and the charm of his character and deportment. Let 
me try for a moment worthily to pourtray his vener- 
able appearance and his head which was white like that 
of Christ. For when he was nearly a hundred years 
old and was busily engaged day and night in God's 
work, his eyes shone with a pure light, his steps were 
firm and swift, his voice penetrating, his teeth nume- 
rous and strong, his voice sonorous, his body well 
set up and not bent with age, his hoary locks did not 
harmonize with his ruddy looks, and his strength was 
out of proportion to his age. As in many other cases 
we did not observe any tenacity of memory, his 
great age had put an end to this. The cold in his 
blood did not chill the keenness of his understanding, 
his furrowed brow did not roughen a countenance 
contracted by wrinkles, nor did a trembling hand 

1 Smalkalten. 

2 Ailricular ivs. For use of word see Vulgate, 2 Sam. xxiii. 23. 



FIRST MISSIONARY TOUR 99 

write with irregular curves on the wax tablet. In 
him the Lord showed us the beauty of the future 
resurrection in order that we might understand con- 
cerning sin, for the flesh of others dies while still 
young, and justly, but he in a later age was still 
young, and though we see that many sinners have 
that bodily health they use it to go on sinning, whilst 
he used it to do good. 

Having been instructed from his earliest days in 
the holy scriptures and having been approved by his 
pious conversation, when he was vigorously fulfilling 
the duty of prior under the venerable abbot Wulfram, 
the holy Otto snatched him away and placed him in 
charge of the Tharisian monastery. For a long time, 
that is for more than twenty years, he ruled with dis- 
tinction, and by his honeyed words he scattered on 
all sides the sweetness of the heavenly doctrine and 
incited all men to love God. 1 . . . But I have said 
enough concerning Wignand. 

XVIII. Otto the apostle of the Pomeranians 
could not withstand the prayers and requests of his 
brothers and sons, and, after spending the winter at 
Julin, he resolved, about the time of the Purification 
of St. Mary, when he had obtained the consent of all, 
to strengthen by his much-desired return his one only 
spouse, the Church at Bamberg. The newly planted 
Church among the Pomeranians, on hearing this, was 
stricken with great grief, and endeavoured to encom- 
pass the steps of the holy teacher with tearful 
entreaties, and to detain him with them, but all to 
no purpose. For he replied that grave and urgent 
matters of business of various kinds awaited him in 
his own country, and he declared that it would be at 
great peril to his own soul if, while he sought to win 
other flocks for Christ, he neglected the sheep that 
had been specially entrusted to him. 

1 There follows here a long, detailed description of the last days of 
Wignand. 



ioo THE LIFE OF OTTO 

A large number of his companions and fellow- 
workers were soon brought together, and he went 
round amongst all to whom he had imparted the faith 
and strengthened them in their Christian profession 
. by his advice and his earnest prayers. He first went 
\ to the castle of Gamin 1 and thence to Clodona, which 
had been consecrated in honour of the Holy Cross, 
and there he baptized many Pomeranians who had 
returned from the islands of the sea, where they had 
hidden in fear of the Duke Boleslav. For the Duke 
Boleslav, who was distinguished for his piety, and his 
devotion to God and the worshippers of God, was 
deservedly harsh, and implacable towards idolaters 
and those accused of crimes. He was wont year 
after year to raise a large army and to devastate the 
lands of the pagans in order that, through fear of the 
sword, they might be brought into subjection to the 
Christian faith. And when this was accomplished by 
the instrumentality of Otto, war was changed to peace 
and all came out of the hiding-places where they had 
been concealed, and, having accepted the safety 
which was secured to them by the good bishop, 
obtained the grace of baptism. This helped to delay 
the preacher of the truth and kept him for some time 
at Clodona. 2 When all his business had been accom- 
plished, he set out for Belgard and afterwards for 
Kolberg. There he completed and consecrated a 
church in honour of Mary the holy mother of God, 
the building of which he had some time before 
commenced. 

[H. XXXVIII. After instructing and baptizing the 
people with great joy, because the harvest was great, 
we hastened on to other labours. We crossed the 
river that flows by Clodona and found a certain town 
which was large and occupied a wide area, but which 
contained few inhabitants, for the marks of burning 



FIRST MISSIONARY TOUR* icjf 

and the heaps of corpses showed that it had been 
devastated by fire and sword. The few inhabitants 
that remained said that they had been dependents of 
those who had been killed, or carried away captives, 
by the Duke of Polonia and had been saved from the 
sword by flight. They had, moreover, constructed 
for themselves huts and bowers with branches and 
twigs round the ruins of the houses, and in these they 
were taking shelter until they could provide better 
quarters. The good father, having comforted them 
by his words and having relieved their wants by 
gifts, proceeded to instruct and baptize them. Many 
also of the peasants from the surrounding hamlets 
came together there and received the sacraments of 
faith. 

XXXIX. Thence we came to Cclobrega which is 
situated on the border of the sea. As nearly all its 
citizens had sailed after the manner of traders to the 
outer islands in order to do business7~tlTose who were 
found at home said that they could adopt no new 
course in the absence of their fellow-citizens, and on this 
ground they withstood the preaching of the gospel for 
some time. They were, however, eventually overcome 
by the repeated exhortations of the bishop. They were 
then confirmed in the faith of the sacred Trinity and 
were born again by baptism, and an altar and a 
sanctuary were built and everything else which was 
regarded as useful for an infant Church was done in 
due course. After this the Bishop advanced to Bel- 
grada, 1 which was one day's journey from Colobrega, 
where he was gladdened by beholding a similar result 
of his labours, when all of their own accord devoted 
themselves to the Lord. When this had been accom- 
plished he thought it best to pass by the four remain- , 
ing towns together with their villages, hamlets and 
islands, namely Hologost, 2 Gozgougia 3 and Timina, 4 

1 Belgard. 2 Wolgast. 

3 Gutzkow, 4 Pemmin, 



102- TH*XLI,VE OF OTTO 

because the season it was winter urged him to 
return, and to water that which he had planted, lest 
by extending and not fully cultivating his domain 
he should run, or have run, in vain. 1 Moreover, if 
he were to proceed further, it would be well-nigh 
impossible for him to return to his own place 
before Palm Sunday, as he had arranged, in order to 
consecrate the sacred oil. 

XL. The wise bishop accordingly made Belgrada 
the limit of his preaching and, as a faithful husband- 
man, he traversed again all the places and towns 
before mentioned in which he had scattered the seeds 
of faith, in order to ascertain how the seeds were 
growing. He found that all the buildings which he 
had left unfinished had become completed basilicas 2 
and churches, and he eagerly and gladly devoted 
himself to the task of dedicating them. And as he 
was dedicating the churches and confirming the 
people with the anointing oil, he found very many 
who desired to be baptized, but who had not been 
able to be present before at the general baptism, 
because at thit time they were engaged in doing 
business in foreign ^parts. The largest number of 
theseTwere in Clodona, Julin and Stettin. When 
they heard that the bishop proposed to leave them 
they gathered together to him with marvellous eager- 
ness, and thought themselves unfortunate if they 
failed to secure his blessing. In some places this 
caused us to continue our stay for some time. The 
bishop was unwilling to leave any town or place in 
which he had planted the gospel seed without revisit- 
ing it one or more times, before his departure from 
the country, in order to bestow comfort and con- 
solation. After he had thus traversed the whole 
district, consoling, strengthening and saluting our 

1 Cf. Gal. ii. 2. 

2 The word basilica was usually applied at this peiiocl to metro, 
politan churches or cathedrals, 



FIRST MISSIONARY TOUR 103 

beloved god-children and our little sons, we dismissed 
them and were ourselves dismissed with the kiss of 
peace, the grief of departure giving rise on both sides 
to tears and groans. 

They used every endeavour again and again to 
keep us with them, and eagerly petitioned my master 
to become their bishop and ruler, promising to sub- 
mit themselves and all that they possessed to his 
authority. I must indeed confess that so ardent was 
the bishop's love for the Church that he had planted 
that he would gladly have remained with them, but 
was dissuaded by his clergy. 

XLI. Monasteries might certainly be established 
in this country especially for holy men who, mindful 
of their own weakness, prefer to inhabit a fertile 
country rather than dry rocks or a parched desert. 

For an incredible number of fish can be obtained 
there from the sea, also from lakes and ponds. For 
a denarium you would get a large quantity of freshly 
pickled fish : if I were to say what I think concerning 
its taste and composition I should be accused of 
gluttony. As for wild animals the province abounds 
in stags, gazelles, wild foals, bears, wild boars, pigs 
and all kinds of wild beasts. Butter is also to be 
obtained from cows, and milk from sheep, together 
with the fat of lambs and rams, and there is a great 
abundance of honey and wheat, of hemp and of 
poppies and of all kinds of vegetables. If the country 
possessed vines, olives and fig trees, you might regard 
it as the promised land in view of the abundance of 
its fruit-bearing trees. The bishop, being unwilling 
that the land should be without the vine, brought 
with him on his second journey a case full of cuttings 
and had them planted, so that the land might produce 
wine for the (Christian) sacrifice. So great are the 
trust and confidence which prevail amongst the people 
that they have no experience of theft or fraud and 
possess no boxes or locked cases. We never saw 



104 THE LIFE OF OTTO 

, there a lock or key and they were themselves 
astonished to see our pack saddles and our locked 
cases. Their clothes, their money and all their 
precious things they store in cases and large jars, 
which are merely covered over, as they fear no fraud 
and have never had experience of such. It is mar- 
vellous to tell, but their tables are never cleared, or 
left without food, but each head of a family has a 
house which is clean and becoming and is available 
for purposes of refreshment. The table in it is never 
without food and drink, and when that which is 
provided is consumed more is supplied. No dirt or 
uncleanness is allowed, but the dishes are covered 
with clean napkins and are ready for those who 
desire to eat. At whatever hour any desire to obtain 
refreshment whether they are guests or members of 
the family, when they come they find everything at the 
table ready. But I have said enough concerning this.] 

The bishop afterwards visited all the churches and 
with many tears commended them to God, and 
strengthened by the blessing of the Lord, departed 
from Pomerania. He then continued his prosperous 
journey as far as Polonia, and was received by the 
Duke Boleslav and by all the clergy and people as an 
angel of God, with indescribable joy and reverence. 
All the people rejoiced not only on account of the 
conversion of the Pomeranian race, but for the safety 
and the return of their greatly-desired father, Otto. 
His kindly feelings towards the Duke led to his being 
detained there for some time, after which he went on 
to Bohemia, where his arrival caused similar joy to 
the Duke Ladislaus and to all his countrymen. He 
then came to the Cladrun monastery and won the 
favour of those who met him by his whole-hearted 
devotion and by his accustomed humility. 

[H. XLII. On our return from this country we 



FIRST MISSIONARY TOUR 105 

accomplished our journey with the help of our father, 
the Duke of Polonia. May the Lord Jesus in the clay 
of acknowledgment repay him all the good that he 
showed to us. For so much affection and kindness 
was manifested towards us that, as we were stationed 
in Pomerania in winter time, this excellent man sent 
us winter garments suitable for the bishop and for 
each individual person, whether clergy, soldiers, or 
shield-bearers. As we had now accomplished the 
task to which he had himself called us, he received all 
of us on our return as beloved sons, and bestowed 
fitting honours upon the bishop and all the others, 
leaving no one unrewarded. At length, as he saw 
that we were in haste, he dismissed us with many 
thanks and caused us to be conducted as far as 
Bohemia. The bishop, on account of the need for 
haste, was not able to ordain anyone to the bishopric 
of Pomerania, as he had desired, but, as he relied 
upon the discretion of the Duke, he entrusted to him 
the arrangements for ordaining a bishop when oppor- 
tunity should occur. The Duke elevated to the rank 
of bishop in this nation one of his own chaplains 
named Adalbert, whom, together with two other 
priests, he had given to the bishop as his assistants. 
To make my story short, Otto arrived at his own 
place in accordance with his plan before Palm 
Sunday. 1 ] 

Otto accordingly entered his own territory with all 
haste and on the third festal day of Holy Week 2 
he came to Michelfeld, where he celebrated the Lord's 
Supper with due reverence and surrounded by a 
great company of the faithful. For many of the 
clergy and people from Bamberg who longed for his 
angelic presence had come there to meet him, and 

1 i.e. before March 22. Ebo states that he arrived on Easter Eve, 
t. e. March 28. 

2 March 24. 



io6 THE LIFE OF OTTO 

they received their most holy pastor as one who had 
been given back to them from the dead ; and with 
tears they rendered thanks to the almighty God who 
had brought him back in safety, despite so many 
perils. Accordingly on that most sacred paschal 
sabbath the beloved father revisited his long-widowed 
spouse, and having entered Turestat 1 he kept watch 
during the sacred night, in the accustomed manner. 
In the early morning of the day of the Lord's 
Resurrection a dawn brighter than usual shone upon 
us, and double joy took possession of us illumined as 
it was both by the joy of the paschal feast and by the 
arrival of the holy Otto. For in the presence of all 
the clergy and people and of many persons of rank 
and of the revered fathers of other monasteries, the 
new apostle of our time, the gates of death amongst 
the barbarians having been destroyed, returned as a 
victor and entered his own church with great triumph 
and was received with the greatest fealty and devotion, 
whilst all wept for joy, and the paschal song " Thou 
who art greatly desired, hast come," was sung. 

For in the case of all joy was closely intermingled 
with tears of regret, as is wont to be the case when 
loved ones are restored to life. The voices of all 
echoed forth Alleluia with indescribable sweetness 
and with so great a body of sound that it well-nigh 
stunned those who heard. For indeed it seemed to all 
as if they had received Christ risen from death. No 
one remained silent, but all with one consent sang 
and offered praise and thanksgiving to God. Every- 
one eagerly desired to behold his revered and hoary 
head and his angelic countenance, and all rejoiced to be 
allowed to kiss his feet, consecrated as they were by the 
gospel of peace. To them he declared 2 the word of God 
with his accustomed charm, whilst he expounded the 
great things wrought by Christ, and the conversion of 

1 Also written Tierstat and Tvverstat. 

2 eructuanS) lit. belching forth. 



FIRST MISSIONARY TOUR 107 

the Pomeranian race, and by the fire of love with 
which he himself burned he inflamed the feelings of 
all as he bade them ponder the divine grace. There- 
after, as he directed his thoughts towards the uncertain 
limits of human life, he dwelt constantly upon the 
verse from the book of Job, " I know not how long I 
shall continue and whether my Maker will soon take 
me away," 1 and accordingly he hastened as far as 
possible to complete the building of monasteries and 
churches which he had already commenced. As a 
good father he strove also to increase the number of 
houses and hostels for Christ's poor, and to furnish 
them with such things as were necessary, lest, if any- 
thing were overlooked, he should afterwards have to 
regret that their value had been diminished. Whilst 
the good bishop laboured and sweated amidst his 
divine labours in these parts, the ancient Enemy 
languished with poisonous envy as he grieved over the 
loss of so many souls which had accrued to him in 
Pomerania, and strove to sow tares over the good 
seed. The two towns of Julin and Stettin apostat- 
ized at the instigation of the great Enemy, and 
abandoned the worship of the true God, and by 
observing again their idolatrous customs gave them- 
selves over to destruction. How this came about 
and how, through God's grace, the harm done was 
marvellously repaired by the second apostleship of 
Otto, the third book will, by the Lord's permission, 
explain. 

1 Job xxxii. 22. Quoted from the Vulgate ; the Hebrew text reads, 
" I know not to give flattering titles, else would my Maker soon take 
me away." 



BOOK 111 

I. After careful meditation on the unwearied 
affection of our lord and father Bishop Otto, which 
led him to promote by his preaching the love and 
worship of Christ, not only in Teutonic lands but in the 
remote territories of the barbarians, it seemed to me 
that it would be wrong that his praiseworthy deeds 
should be enveloped in barren silence. Induced, 
therefore, by no spirit of presumption, but by affec- 
tionate love, I have endeavoured to commit to writing 
an account of his second apostleship in Pomerania, 
according as his faithful fellow-worker the presbyter 
Udalricus of St. Egidius has instructed me ; for an 
account of the first apostleship has been written 
elsewhere. Let him who desires read ; no one forces 
him who is unwilling, or disdainful, to read. 

After our holy father Otto had come again in peace 
to his own place, on the completion of his first 
apostleship to the Pomeranian people, two of the best 
known towns, Julin and Stettin, moved by the envy 
of the devil, returned to their former sordid idolatry 
under the following circumstances. Julin, which had 
been founded by Julius Caesar and called after him, 
and in which his spear was kept, fixed on a column of 
great size in order to preserve his memory, 1 was 
accustomed to hold a festival in honour of a certain 
idol at the beginning of the year, which was accom- 
panied by dancing. When the town had been 

1 Vita Pnlf. (II. 6) states that Otto offered fifty talents of 
silver for this lance in order to prevent the inhabitants from continuing 
to worship it. 

108 



SECOND MISSIONARY TOUR 109 

cleansed by the word of faith and the washing of 
baptism, and the people, moved by the holy bishop, 
began to burn the larger and smaller idols that were 
in the open air, certain persons carried off secretly 
some small images adorned with gold and silver, 
little knowing how they were bringing about the 
destruction of their town, even as the unhappy 
Achan, when the city of Jericho was overthrown, 
stole a bar of gold weighing fifty shekels and a scarlet 
robe and two hundred shekels of silver, and as a 
result witnessed the punishment inflicted by the 
divine anger, and the loss that befel the Jewish 
people. For when the people of the province had 
assembled with their accustomed eagerness to cele- 
brate the idol festival to which I have referred, and 
were playing and feasting together with great pomp, 
these men brought forth to the people, who had been 
weakened by their vain pleasures, the idols that they 
had before carried off, and invited them to resume 
their pagan rites. 

By doing this they laid themselves open to divine 
reproof. For when all the people were engaged in 
playing and dancing in heathen fashion the fire of 
God suddenly fell from heaven upon the apostate 
town and the whole town began to burn with such 
great violence that no one was able to rescue any 
of his property, but the people, in their desire to save 
their own lives, escaped by swift flight and with 
difficulty the raging conflagration. When at length 
the town had been destroyed by the vehemence of 
the fire, the inhabitants on their return found that the 
church of St. Adalbert, which had been built by Otto 
his apostle, and the middle of which had been 
constructed by joining boards together in consequence 
of the lack of stones, had been preserved from the 
heat of the flames. Marvellous to relate, the sanctuary, 
which had been covered over in a cheaper manner, that 
is with reeds, and which had a linen cloth spread out 



no THE LIFE OF OTTO 

underneath in order to prevent worms from reaching 
the altar, had remained entirely untouched by the 
fire. 

When the people beheld this great miracle they 
cried aloud and offered to God exultant praise, for 
they declared that beyond all doubt this was the true 
God, inasmuch as amidst this fierce fire, which had 
even injured the stones, He had been able to 
preserve uninjured the screen of reeds that had been 
spread over His own altar. 

Accordingly the Christian priests were summoned, 
and the people openly repented and utterly abjured 
their idols, and having, as far as they were able, 
rebuilt their town, submitted with eager devotion to 
the yoke of Christ. Thus the divine reproof wrought 
salvation in their land. 

Stettin, their most extensive town, which was 
larger than Julin, included three hills in its circuit. 
The middle one of these, which was also the highest, 
was dedicated to Triglav, the chief god of the pagans ; 
its image had a triple head and its eyes and lips were 
covered with a golden diadem. The idol priests 
declared that their chief god had three heads because 
it had charge of three kingdoms, namely, heaven, 
earth and the lower regions, and that its face was 
covered with a diadem so that it might pretend not 
to see the faults of men, and might keep silence. 

When this most powerful town had been brought to 
the knowledge of the true God by the good bishop, 
the idol temples were destroyed by fire and two 
churches were built, one on the Triglav hill in 
honour of St. Adalbert, and the other outside the 
walls of the town in honour of St. Peter. 1 Thereafter 
the churches of Christ appropriated the sacrifices 
which were before offered with great pomp and cost 
to the priests and the idol shrines. On this account 

1 According to the Vita Prilf. (II. 19) the second church was 
dedicated to the archangel Michael. 



SECOND MISSIONARY TOUR in 

the idol priests were distressed and, when they saw 
that the benefits resulting from their former cele- 
brations were decreasing, they sought for an oppor- 
tunity to bring the people back to the worship of 
idols in order to secure their own gain. It happened, 
moreover, that a great mortality occurred in the town, 
and, when the priests were questioned by the people, 
they said that they had met with this calamity 
because they had put away their idols, and that all of 
them would die suddenly if they did not try to 
appease their ancient gods by sacrifices and the 
accustomed gifts. In consequence of this declaration 
a public assembly was forthwith held, the idol images 
were sought out and the profane, idolatrous obser- 
vances and ceremonies were performed again by the 
people, and the middle portions of the Christian 
churches were destroyed. And when the people, 
in their madness, approached the sanctuary they did 
not dare to go farther, but thus addressed, with wild 
clamour the chief idol-priest, " Behold we have accom- 
plished our part, it is for you, in virtue of your office, 
to attack and to profane the person 1 of the German 
God : " whereupon he seized an axe, but when he had 
brandished it aloft with his right hand, he suddenly 
stiffened and fell back and with a lamentable cry 
complained of pain. When the people ran to him 
and inquired its cause he groaned deeply and said, 
"Alas, how great is the power and the strength of the 
German God ; who can resist Him ? How have I 
been struck down who dared to touch His sacred 
dwelling." When the people asked with amazement 
what they should do, the priest said, " Build here 
a house for your god next to the dwelling of the 
German God, and worship Him and your gods alike, 
lest perchance in His anger He bring speedy and 
sudden destruction to this place." 

They acted in accordance with his suggestion and 

1 lit. " the head and support," caput et columen. 



ii2 THE LIFE OF OTTO 

continued in their error until the return of the holy 
apostle Otto. 

II. Meanwhile the providence of God, who ever 
yearns to secure the conversion of those who are in 
error, failed not in His fatherly kindness to reprove 
them by the mouth of one of their most important 
citizens, a man named Witscacus, 1 who had been 
delivered in a marvellous manner from captivity and 
from the perils of the sea. What happened must not 
be passed over in silence, more especially as Christ 
deigned to work so manifest a miracle through the 
blessed apostle of -the Pomeranians, albeit in his 
absence. Pomerania is the eastern district inhabited 
by barbarians which is situated towards the east and 
is bordered by the country of the Danes, the sea lying 
between the two. The sea that divides the two 
districts is so wide that anyone sailing in the midst of 
it even on the clearest day would hardly be able to 
see the two provinces, as they would seem like a tiny 
cloud. This man, who was a citizen of Stettin and 
was distinguished amongst his fellow-citizens on 
account of his rank and wealth, was accustomed to 
sail to the country of the Danes and to secure spoils 
therefrom. The Danes also made frequent piratical 
expeditions to Pomerania. At the time when, as we 
have said, his town had apostatized, its powerful 
citizen Witscacus had equipped six vessels and was 
engaged in attacking his enemies the Danes, when he 
fell into an unexpected ambuscade and was captured, 
together with all his companions. They were cruelly 
strangled, whilst he was cast into prison alone. His 
neck, his breast, his hands and his feet were bound with 
heavy chains by his enemies, who desired to secure 
gain by him. As he lay there closely confined, and 
expecting any moment to be dragged away to meet 
a cruel death, he began to recall the holy apostle by 
whom he had himself been received from Christ's 

1 Ebo spells the name Wirtschachus, Herbord writes Witscacus. 



SECOND MISSIONARY TOUR 113 

sacred font. With his face wet with a saving shower 
of tears he poured forth out of the depths of his heart 
this prayer to the Lord, <( O Lord, omnipotent God, 
who hast allowed us to come to the knowledge of Thy 
Name by the mouth of Otto our holy father and 
bishop, have compassion, and succour me in this 
tribulation, for the merits of him who received me in 
my unworthiness from the sacred washing of new 
birth, so that, placed as I am in the shadow of so 
terrible a death, I may know if all that I heard from 
him concerning Thine exceeding holiness is true ; 
absolved by Thy grace I will henceforth abandon 
these piratical attacks, and will cleave devotedly to 
Thy religion." When he had said this, being 
exhausted with sorrow and fasting, he fell asleep and 
beheld forthwith his beloved apostle, Otto, who stood 
before him, his head bound with an episcopal band, 
and struck his side as he slept, with his pastoral staff. 
Astonished and crying for very joy, he thus addressed 
the bishop with a tearful voice, " Holy father and 
servant of the living God, who has brought thee 
hither so unexpectedly at this hour?" He replied, 
" It is for your sake that I have come." The captive 
answered him, " How, my lord and father, shall I rise 
when my whole body is bound and fastened with 
chains ? " The good father made the sign of the cross 
and raised him up, and forthwith his chains were 
loosened, by divine power, more quickly than can be 
described, and fell to the ground. And the Lord's 
servant said to him, "Christ, in whom thou hast 
believed, has absolved thee. When thou returnest to 
thine own land be mindful that thou act as an 
ambassador on my behalf to all thy fellow-citizens. 
They have committed a grievous offence against God 
inasmuch as they have neglected His worship and 
have not feared to pollute themselves with the filth 
of their former idolatry. Unless they speedily recover 
from their folly they will incur the manifold punish- 



ii4 THE LIFE OF OTTO 

ment of divine wrath either here or in the future 
world." Having said this the bishop vanished from 
his sight. Witscacus then roused himself and went 
out and took the shortest route to the sea. He was 
still uncertain as to what he should do and his 
thoughts vacillated as he said to himself, " God has 
indeed absolved me in virtue of the merits of my 
blessed father, Otto, but how shall I, who possess no 
boat, traverse so wide a sea ? " As he was thus 
meditating in the silence of the dark night, he saw 
before him, drawn up on the shore, but without an 
occupant, a little boat so small that it could only 
carry one experienced and practical seaman. He 
entered this at once and committed himself to the 
sea : and, fortified only by his faith, he kept saying 
to himself, " I would rather perish in the depth of the 
sea, if it must be so, than fall again into the bloody 
hands of my enemies, for if, which God forbid, they 
were to catch me on this shore, they would lacerate 
and mangle me with new and unheard-of tortures." 
As he went on board the little boat the Lord sent 
forth a mighty wind upon the sea which carried him 
at once, and without rowing, to the shore of Stettin. 
On reaching the dry land he poured forth with tears 
the thanks that were due to Almighty God and to 
his blessed father Otto. He was received with much 
joy and astonishment by his own fellow-citizens, to 
whom he gave a full account of his misfortune and of 
his seizure. As a witness to the miracle that had 
been accomplished they hung up the little boat in the 
gate of their city. Incited, however, by their wicked 
priests, they despised the message brought by their 
own good teacher, and continued in the same error 
until the bishop himself visited them a second time 
and recalled them into the way of truth. The manner 
in which this was accomplished will be made clear in 
the following narrative. 

III. When God's chosen bishop heard that an 



SECOND MISSIONARY TOUR n- 

enemy had sown tares on top of the good seed, he 
would not suffer the people of Stettin to serve the 
Lord and idols and thus to halt between the two sides. 
Having sought the blessing of the apostolic Lord, 
Honorius, and that of his serene majesty Lotharius, 
he arranged to approach once more the territories of 
the barbarians, with the double object of bringing 
back to the bosom of the Church those that had 
apostatized and of subjecting to the yoke of the faith 
another people called Uznoim (Usedom) which had 
not yet heard the name of Christ. After making 
abundant provision for the needs of the journey, and 
having secured many ministers of the word and 
fellow-workers who were distinguished for their faith 
and industry, at the most holy Supper of the Lord 
which was held after the anointing oil had been 
prepared and the customary rites of the Mass had 
been performed, fasting and shod with sandals, as 
though he had stood at the altar, he set out on his 
preaching tour, even as it is written, " How beautiful 
are the feet of those who preach the gospel of peace 
and bring glad tidings of good things." l 

As all his sons followed their beloved father, weeping 
and praying that success might attend him, he, being 
armed with faith and with the helmet of salvation, 
went forth to attack and to destroy the enemy's city. 
His first resting-place was in a building belonging to 
the Church of Bamberg which is called Growze. 
Here he and his companions carried out the command 
given by -Christ Himself. 2 On the next day, after 
performing the ceremonies connected with the Lord's 
death, he turned aside to the ancient town called 
Kirchberg, where he spent in prayer and devotion the 
paschal Sabbath and the actual day of the Lord's 
resurrection. On the second day of the Easter festival 

1 Rom. x. 15. 

2 i. e. the washing of feet. The anliphon in the Roman Missal reads 
" Mandatum novum do nobis," 



n6 THE LIFE OF OTTO 

he reached the monastery of Regenheresthorf, 1 which 
he had recently built, and on the third day he 
dedicated it with all due ceremony in honour of St. 
John the Baptist, at the same time commending him- 
self and his journey to St. John, who was his special 
patron. During the rest of Easter week he remained 
in the district belonging to the Churches of 
Schidingen 2 and Muchelen 3 and was employed in 
collecting the necessary provisions for his journey, 
after which he drew near to Magdeburg, the well- 
known capital of Saxony, where he was honourably 
received by his beloved archbishop Noribert. 

But inasmuch as honourable reputation ever tends 
to beget jealousy (in others) this archbishop, who 
perceived that Otto had come from so great a distance 
for the sake of preaching the gospel, and who was 
compelled by a sense of shame because, though he 
was placed in a town belonging to pagan peoples, he 
had made no attempt to preach to them, being moved 

by envy desired to-detain the good teacher for a time. 
Otto, however, being fervent in spirit, could not be 
enticed from the carrying out of his good design, and 

/" having sought the archbishop's blessing, set out the 
next day for the diocese of Habelberg, 4 which had at 
that time been so completely ruined by the incursions 
of the heathen that there remained in it hardly any 

U- who bore the Christian name. On the very day of 
his arrival flags were placed around the town, which 
was engaged in celebrating a festival in honour of an 
idol called Gerovit. When the man of God perceived 
this, he was pricked to the heart on account of the 
great delusion of its people and refused to enter the 
walls of the town, but waited in front of the gate and, 
having summoned Wirikind, the ruler of the place, 

1 L e. Reinsdorf, to the south of Querfordia. 

2 i.e. Scheidungen, between Naumbergand Querfordia. 

3 /. e. Mucheln, south-west of Merseburg. 

4 Vita Prilf. (III. '4) states that Otto was prevented from preaching; 
at all at Habelberg. 



SECOND MISSIONARY TOUR 117 

demanded of him why he permitted this idolatry to 
be practised. He protested that the people had 
rebelled against their Archbishop Noribert because 
he had tried to subject them to hard servitude, and 
confessed that they could not be compelled to accept 
teaching from him, but were prepared to die rather 
than submit to such a burdensome servitude. At the 
same time Wirikind besought the bishop that he 
would not refuse to explain to the people of the town 
their error, and said that they would listen much 
more eagerly to his advice than to the orders of the 
archbishop. Accordingly Otto stood on a lofty place 
in front of the gate and preached to all the people 
who had gathered together the saving word, and 
without difficulty persuaded them to abandon their 
sacrilegious festival. Meanwhile they declared that 
if they were placed under another archbishop they 
would of their own free will gladly receive baptismal 
grace. 

With his accustomed generosity the holy preacher 
gave to Wirikind a large quantity of gold, and to his 
wife he gave a precious psalter, and he collected . 
there the various things that he required for his \ 
journey, together with thirty waggons. He then 
began to inquire of Wirikind whether he would be 
prepared to provide an escort through his own clis- I v 
trict, as he had promised in the town of Me^seburg j 
in the presence of the renowned king Lotharlus>>-He I J 
replied that he could not do so, as the bishop would \ 
shortly be traversing lands belonging to his enemies, ' 
for fear lest his servants should be seized and killed 
by these enemies. 

IV. Then the good father, having invoked the 
mighty protection of God, started again on the! 
journey which he had undertaken. There was there! 
a wood of immense size. After five days spent in 1 
traversing it he came to a stagnant lake of great 
length where he obtained from a little man whom he 



n8 THE LIFE OF OTTO 

saw sitting in a small boat a great supply of fish. 
Marvellous to relate, although silver and other things 
were offered him, the man would receive nothing but 
salt. For he said that he had not tasted bread for 
seven years, but had supported a poor existence 
merely on fishes and the water of this pool. When 
this province had been captured by the Duke of 
Polonia, he had fled with his wife, having taken his 
axe and mattock, and had found a level place in the 
midst of this swamp where he had built a little house 
and had lived in safety, and during the summer time 
had accumulated a great multitude of dried fishes in 
order that he might have an abundance throughout 
the winter. It was to preserve these that he bought a 
large quantity of salt from the good preacher. 

There was there a race of barbarians called Moriz. 
When they had heard what the blessed bishop had 
to tell them, they sought of their own accord to be 
initiated by him into the sacraments of the faith. 
But he, being a prudent and wise man, directed them 
to go to their chief bishop Noribert, as he told 
them that it was unlawful for him to build on another 
man's foundation, and that he had been summoned 
by the decree of the Pope and by the letter of 
Wortizlaus the Duke of Pomerania to go to more 
distant races. They, however, declared that they 
would not follow the Bishop of Magdeberg, inasmuch 
as he strove to inflict upon them a yoke of cruel 
servitude, but they promised that they would, with all 
humility, submit themselves to him, the pious servant 
of God, and would in all matters obey his commands. 
Seeing their devotion he replied very kindly that for 
the time being he would go to the races committed 
to his charge, but after the conversion of these to 
the faith, if they continued to desire it, with the 
authority and permission of the Pope and the approval 
of the archbishop Noribert he would readily pay 
them a visit. 



SECOND MISSIONARY TOUR 119 

V. When he came to the town of Tirniiia 1 he 
found that great preparations for war had been made 
and that an incursion of the inhabitants of Leuticia 
had occurred. For the Leuticians, whose town * 
together with its temple had been recently burnt by 
the renowned king^Lpijhiarius in his zeal for justice, j 
were endeavouring to lay waste the town of Timina 
and to enslave its citizens. These were vigorously 
resisting and were seeking aid from the Duke 
Wortizlaus, The Duke had commanded our good 
father to await his arrival there, and for two days he 
waited for him, not without personal risk in view of 
the movements of the enemy's forces. On the very 
day of the bishop's arrival the citizens of Timina 
were holding a public assembly in front of the gate. 
The town was situated in a valley and, as the bishop 
was descending from the hills accompanied by his 
thirty waggons, all the people were frightened by the 
tumultuous noise and, thinking that the forces of 
their enemies were coming against them, they entered 
the town as quickly as possible and endeavoured to 
prepare themselves to resist. As the servant of God 
drew near they found no arms in his train, but instead 
the standard of the cross, and presently they recog- 
nized Otto, who was well known to them by report, 
and, running eagerly towards him, begged him to 
enter within the walls of their town. He, however, 
refused to enter a town which had been defiled by 
idolatry, and remained in tents set up in front of the 
gate. Meanwhile he summoned the chiefs of the 
people and with enticing words urged them to seek 
for the blessings of the Christian faith and of baptism. 
The ancient enemy, however, perceiving that the 
Lord's gain and his own loss would thereby accrue, 
did not suffer his envy of God's servant to remain 
concealed, but having created a certain ill-grounded 
fear, endeavoured to drive him forth from those 

1 Dem mi a. 



i2o THE LIFE OF OTTO 

parts. For on the following night the Duke of 
Pomerania came to the assistance of the people of 
Timina with two forces, one a naval force and the 
other composed of horsemen. The horsemen ought 
to have arrived first, but the wind brought the ship 
to land with the greater speed. The horsemen who 
came later, finding the allied force there, which it 
had expected to follow later, suspected that it had 
run into a hostile company, and was the more sus- 
picious because black darkness had come on. There 
arose forthwith on both sides a confused clamour and 
an outrageous tumult. All the companions of the 
bishop were struck with terror and urged immediate 
flight, for Albwinus, the interpreter of the man of God, 
declared that a troop of the Leuticians had arrived 
and that they would mangle and slaughter the Duke's 
army. Our great teacher sent this Albwinus, who was 
a godly priest, with orders that he should proceed 
thither with all speed and investigate the truth of the 
matter. Being an accomplished swimmer he threw 
himself quickly into the stream and found that peace 
had been restored, as the two armies had each at 
length discovered that the other was composed of 
fellow-citizens. They said that it was by a satanic 
illusion that they had been hindered from doing so 
before. The Duke Wortizlaus protested his incredible 
joy at the arrival of the good pastor and commanded 
him to come to him on the further bank of the river 
without delay. He said that it was nothing short of 
a divine miracle that he had remained uninjured for 
two days amongst the constantly moving forces of 
the enemy. In very truth had he not been covered 
by the mighty protection of God as by an invincible 
shield, he would have perished undefended, together 
with all his companions. As soon as the light 
returned the Duke, with his armies, invaded the 
territories of the rebellious Leuticians and laid waste 
everything with fire and sword. Towards evening he 



SECOND MISSIONARY TOUR 121 

returned laden with many spoils, and conducted his 
beloved father Otto, with all due reverence, to Uznoim 
(Usedom), where he had a quiet interval in which to 
rest and preach. 

[H. I. When four l years had elapsed, Otto, though 
he was still occupied with much business at home, 
burned with so great a love for his new colony that 
he put aside everything else and began to arrange to 
revisit it. In order that he might not prove burden- 
some to those through whose territories he had 
formerly passed, namely, the Duke of Bohemia, 2 or 
the Duke of Polonia, or his other hosts and friends, 
he arranged to make his journey through Saxony. 
He laded his ships with provisions at Halla and 
descended by the River Alba to Habala, going as far 
as the shores of Leuticia. In order that he might 
not, by coming empty-handed and without resources, 
appear to his spouse to be of little value, and for 
fear lest, if the gospel which he had before brought 
without cost to its hearers, were now to prove a 
burden to them, those who were already prepared to 
believe should murmur against him, he endeavoured 
to approach them as a rich man with a large amount 
of gold and silver, with purple and linen and precious 
garments and many and great presents such as would 
appeal to many different persons. All these he 
bought at Halla and carried by ship to Leuticia, 
where he placed them in fifty chariots and four horse 
waggons together with a supply of provisions, and 
transported them through the country of Leuticia to 
Timin.i, a town in Pomerania. When we arrived 
there after considerable labour and fatigue we endured 
during the following night much fear and alarm. 
For the inhabitants of that town, being as yet ignorant 

1 This should be three years. 

2 The Duke Wadislaus had died on April 12, 1125, and SoLieslaus 
had now become Duke. 



122 THE LIFE OF OTTO 

of God, were fierce and ill disposed to Christians, and 
we had come as strangers to strangers. In our former 
journey we had known only the prefect of the town 
and had communicated with him in regard to the 
question of our reception. He received us in a 
friendly manner and said that he would treat the 
others as his guests, and at the same time he pointed 
out an open space for us to occupy in an old castle 
near the town. Here we fixed our tents in the hope 
that we should be left quiet, but throughout the whole 
of that night we were disturbed by vain alarms. 

II. For the Duke of Pomerania was coming that 
very night with an army to devastate Leuticia. 
Moreover the inhabitants of Timina had heard that 
the Leuticians were about to meet him there in 
battle, and as a result there was no small alarm in 
the town. As the silence of night came on, the 
squadrons of the Duke's army converged on this 
place, and it came about that one cohort of foot 
soldiers and one of cavalry were approaching the 
town from opposite sides, and as the night was dark 
each thought that the other force was an enemy and 
for a long time they remained with swords drawn. 
We, being terrified by the clamour and noise of their 
arms, poured water upon our camp fires and meditated 
flight. Meanwhile they had recognised each other 
as friends and had desisted from fighting. The 
prefect sent a messenger and explained to us the 
cause of the tumult and begged us not to be alarmed. 
In the morning the Duke, who was hastening with 
his whole army to secure the spoil, was not able to 
see the bishop, but he sent messengers to urge him to 
await him there that day. About midday we saw that 
Leuticia was smoking in all directions. This showed 
that the army was engaged in spreading universal 
destruction. Towards evening the Duke, who had 
accomplished his desire, returned, laden with much 
spoil, joyful and unharmed together with all his 



SECOND MISSIONARY TOUR 123 

attendants. They divided the spoils whilst we were 
looking on, clothes, money, flocks and other articles 
of various kinds. They also distributed amongst them- 
selves the men whom they had captured. There 
was weeping and lamentation and infinite grief when, 
in accordance with the method adopted for dividing 
them, a husband was separated from a wife and a 
wife from a husband, children from parents and 
parents from children, and were assigned to different 
masters. Although all who were involved in this 
grief were pagans, the bishop, who was ever good 
and compassionate, pitied their condition and could 
not refrain from tears. The Duke, who was delighted 
with the success that he had obtained and with the 
arrival of the bishop, when he perceived what was 
his desire, gave order that some of the younger and 
weaker prisoners should be freed, and at the bishop's 
suggestion he arranged that those who were grieved 
at being separated should remain together. And when 
he had heard the bishop he did many things and 
heard him gladly. 1 

The bishop also ransomed many of the prisoners 
and, having seen that they were instructed and born 
again by baptism, he sent them away free. When 
then they had refreshed themselves by mutual 
conversation and had presented gifts to each other, 
the Duke departed to see to his own affairs. Mean- 
while we placed all our property on board the ships 
of Timina and sailed on the River Pene for three 
days till we came to Uznoim, the bishop going 
overland on foot with a few companions. 

Without delay he proceeded to cut his Lord's field 
with the ploughshare and to scatter the seed of faith ; 
nor did he meet with any difficulty in his task, inas- 
much as the teaching of salvation had already fallen 
like a refreshing shower upon that town, for the priests 
whom the good father had sent amongst this people 
1 Cf. St. Mark vi. 20. 



T24 THE LIFE OF OTTO 

to represent him had converted a great part of 
Uznoimia, and the remaining part was brought to 
the Lord by the bishop.] 

VI. The Duke then appointed a general conference 
of the leading men in his kingdom to be held in the 
same place on the festival of Pentecost. When the 
chief men of the town of Timina and of the other 
towns were come together he urged them with words 
of wisdom to take upon themselves the yoke of the 
Christian faith. 

He had himself in his youth been carried away 
as a captive to Teutonic lands and had received 
baptismal grace in the town of Merseburg, but whilst 
living amongst pagans he had not been able to 
observe the Christian law. Accordingly he greatly 
desired that the nation over which he ruled should 
be subjected to the yoke of the faith. When the 
chiefs were assembled in council the Duke spoke 
as follows : u Ye see, my friends, how this blessed 
father, who is also to be venerated on account of his 
grey hairs, has left behind all the glory and splendour 
which he possessed amongst his own people in order 
to promote our salvation. At the peril of his life he 
has come from afar to districts that were unknown 
to him. In his love to God he has spared neither 
expense nor his own grey hairs, but has jeoparded 
his life unto death in order that he might recall you 
from death to life ; nor did he hesitate to undertake 
this arduous and most difficult journey. In earlier 
times many have come to these parts to proclaim 
the word of God, whom, prompted by Satan, ye have 
killed. One of these ye but recently crucified, but 
his bones were committed to the grave with due 
reverence after they had been collected by the chap- 
lains of our lord the bishop. Ye ought not and 
cannot thus .treat this most venerable lord bishop 
whose fame is everywhere spread abroad, for he is 



SECOND MISSIONARY TOUR 125 

the messenger of the Pope and is beloved of our lord 
the invincible king, Lotharius, For the ruler of the 
Roman Empire and all the chief men venerate him as 
a father and are content to follow his advice in all 
things. Ye may know therefore beyond all doubt that, 
if he suffer at your hands any trouble or distress, our 
lord the king will hear of it and will speedily come 
with an army and will blot you and your land out of 
existence. It is not for me to compel you to adopt 
this religion, for, as I have heard my lord the bishop 
say, ' God does not desire forced but voluntary 
service.' Wherefore, having met together with 
unanimous purpose in secret, discuss the question 
of your salvation and arrive at a common decision 
as to how ye will receive this most venerable servant 
of God, who is your apostle." When they heard 
this the chiefs and elders sought for a convenient 
place in which to debate the matter, and for a long 
time they vacillated and were uncertain in their 
minds, the idol priests in particular offering opposition 
in order to secure their own gain. 

But those who inclined to more prudent counsels 
urged that when all the provinces belonging to the 
surrounding nations and the whole Roman world had 
submitted to the yoke of the faith, it would be the 
height of folly for them to be estranged, as an 
abortive offspring, from the womb of their sacred 
mother, the Church. They urged too that the God 
of the Christians deserved to be loved inasmuch as 
He had, during so many years, borne with their 
rebelliousness and had patiently waited for their 
conversion, and that they should fear lest, if they 
refused any longer to accept His yoke, they should 
incur the unbearable punishment of divine wrath. 
At length, being assisted by Divine mercy, they with 
one accord abandoned the worship of idols and, 
having submitted to the yoke of the faith, began to 
ask for baptismal grace. On hearing this the good 



126 THE LIFE OF OTTO 

pastor wept for joy and, kneeling down, he gave 
great thanks to God. 

[H. III. When the festival of the coming of the 
Holy Spirit 1 drew near, Wortizlaus the Duke of 
the country, who was a wholehearted Christian, at the 
suggestion of Otto proclaimed to the barons and 
captains of the whole province and to the prefects of 
the towns that an assembly would be held in this 
town at the feast of Pentecost. He gave as a reason 
(the consideration of) the Gospel of Christ and the 
fact that bishop Otto had come a second time as an 
evangelist. When all had assembled on the appointed 
day the Duke brought the bishop into their midst 
and said, " Behold now the purpose for which ye have 
come here. The messenger of the Most High is 
in yoi-r presence. He brings not war but peace, nor 
does he seek your possessions but you yourselves for 
God. Listen then, I pray you. Four years ago, as I 
myself can bear witness and you yourselves know, the 
bishop taught and preached everywhere in the upper 
parts of this country. He desired at that time to 
visit these parts, but God so prospered his work that 
for the whole of that year he was kept busy by his 
sacred work, and when the year was ended he was 
forced by the conditions of his affairs at home to 
return to his own place, and was unable to come to 
you. I beg you to note carefully with me the reasons 
for this journey and, as in every such case is wont to 
be done, let us have regard to the actor, the action, 
the cause and the method. First of all as regards the 
man himself, ye see clearly that he is a pious man 
who claims respect on account of his age and his 
appearance. As to his rank in life his deeds and 
virtues bear testimony, as well as his ancient line of 
ancestors and forefathers, as we have learned on good 
authority. If, furthermore, we desire the dignity 

1 Pentecost, May 22. 



SECOND MISSIONARY TOUR 127 

belonging to official position, as a bishop he serves as 
a mirror and lamp to all the chiefs throughout the 
Teutonic realm. By the Roman Emperor and by the 
bishop of the apostolic see he is regarded as dear and 
beloved ; we know that at home he is a rich man and 
held in repute in respect of his gold and silver, his 
attendants and subjects, his fields and possessions and 
whatever this world calls precious. He has come 
hither as a rich man in order to promote your 
salvation, nor does he propose to live amongst you 
save at his own expense. What task does he 
propose ? Why, after essaying so great a journey, 
does he not spare either himself or his own 
possessions ? To speak briefly, I say as I have said 
before, he seeks only to separate you from the devil 
and to unite you by the catholic faith to the Lord 
Jesus Christ. But how would he do this ? Not by 
guile or violence, and not for the sake of any earthly 
gain, but for the sake of your own salvation and the 
honour of God. No just reason in fact can be 
discovered by you why you should not listen to such 
a man as this. Nor is he a man who might be 
threatened with death or with a gibbet, or with 
any other injury, for fraud or imposture. It was in 
this manner, that a short time ago ye treated Christ's 
poor preachers who came from foreign lands, because 
ye suspected that these needy and impoverished men 
were preaching the word of God fraudulently and 
deceitfully for the sake of gain. These men who for 
the truth's sake were subjected to blows and to 
scourging have left your country and ye have 
continued up to the present in unbelief. Your long- 
continued error and ignorance should be to you a 
matter of shame and regret ; you who have refused to 
listen to preachers who were poor should listen now 
to those who are rich. For ye have mockingly and 
blasphemously declared that the God of the Christians 
is inferior, and of less value than all other gods 



128 THE LIFE OF OTTO 

because He could only secure as teachers of His 
doctrine ignorant and uncultured men who were 
encompassed with indigence and poverty. You were 
indeed mad when you spake this, but God, who is 
holy and compassionate and incapable of malice, has 
borne with your folly and has taken from you the 
opportunity of objecting to the inexperience, the 
rusticity, the indigence, or the poverty of His 
messenger. It is for us who are reputed to be, and 
are, the chiefs and elders to consult our own dignity 
and to give our consent in a worthy and pious 
manner so that the people who are s.ubject to us may 
be taught by our example. For whatever sanctity or 
integrity in the sight of God or man is to be sought 
after, I think that it is more right and comely that it 
should pass from the head to the members than from 
the members to the head. In the primitive Church, 
as we have heard, the Christian religion began with 
the people and with common persons and spread to 
the middle classes and at length affected the great 
chiefs of the world. Let us change the order of the 
primitive Church and let it begin with us who are the 
chiefs and, passing on from us to the middle classes 
by an easy progress, let the sanctifying influence 
of the divine religion enlighten the whole pe'ople and 
nation." But why do I delay? The grace of the 
divine Spirit was present and was implanted in the 
hearts of all present; through the words of the Duke, 
more deeply than can be described, and all with one 
consent and approval promised that whatever the 
bishop should recommend should be done. The 
bishop on this occasion addressed to them a 
marvellous discourse and spoke of the coming of the 
Holy Spirit, the remission of sins, the various gifts of 
grace, the goodness of God and divine mercy, and 
preached unto them Jesus. Some who had formerly 
been Christians, but had been defiled afresh by the 
errors of heathenism, were led by his discourse to 



SECOND MISSIONARY TOUR 129 

feel remorse and their hearts were softened by 
deep contrition. These, to the great delight of the 
onlookers, the bishop reconciled to the Church by the 
laying on of hands. Others who eagerly offered 
themselves were taught and briefly instructed for 
the time being and were baptized by him. With 
exceeding joy he devoted the whole of that week to 
teaching and sacred toils, whereby it became evident 
that the Holy Spirit was there present. The council 
was not dissolved until the chiefs themselves and all 
who had come with them had received the sacrament 
of baptism.] 

VII. When then, after a short time had elapsed, all 
the chiefs in this town had been baptized, the bishop 
sent out the priests associated with him two and two 
to the other towns that lay before him, in order that 
they might announce to the people the conversion of 
the chiefs and his own approach. Two of these, 
namely Udalricus the holy priest of St. Egidius and 
Albwinus, who has been referred to before, the 
interpreter of the man of God, went to a very wealthy 
town called Hologost. 1 They were honourably 
received there by a matron, the wife of the prefect of 
the town, who washed their feet with the utmost 
devotion and humility and having placed a table 
before them refreshed them with lavish feasts, so that 
they marvelled and were amazed because in the 
kingdom of the devil they had met with so much 
humility and hospitality. When at length their 
lefreshment was completed, Albwinus addressed pri- 
vately the matron and explained to her the reason 
for his coming, and told her how at the conference 
that had been held at Uznoim all the chief men had 
abandoned the defilement of idolatry and had been 
clothed with the grace of Christ. When she heard 
this she was so frightene'd that she fell flat on the 

1 i. e. Wolgast. 



1 3 o THE LIFE OF OTTO 

ground and remained for some time half dead. When 
she had been revived with water Albwinus asked why 
she so dreaded the grace of God, when she ought the 
rather to rejoice that God had visited His people 
by sending to them so good a minister of the Word. 
She answered, " It was not for this reason that I 
shuddered, but my heart was distressed at the 
prospect of your death which is now imminent. For 
the magistrates and all the people of this town have 
decreed that if you should appear here you should be 
killed without hesitation. This house of mine, which 
was ever quiet and peaceful and showed hospitality to 
all strangers who came, must now be defiled with 
your blood. In very truth, if one of the magistrates 
hears of your coming, my house will presently be 
surrounded and besieged, and, alas, unless I deliver 
you up, I and all those with me will be burnt. 
Go then to the upper part of my house and hide, 
and I will send my servants with your equipment and 
horses to my farms which lie at a distance, and if any 
come to inquire I shall be able to shield you, as they 
will not find with me either your garments or your 
horses." They expressed their gratitude for her 
forethought and did as they were instructed. As 
soon as the servants had taken away their horses and 
their garments the enraged people burst in and 
searched everything and demanded with violence that 
the strangers who had entered should be put to death. 
To them the matron said, " I admit that they entered 
my house, and when they had sufficiently refreshed 
themselves they departed with all speed. I cannot 
tell you who they were, or whence they came, or 
whither they were going. Follow them and perchance 
you may catch them." They replied, " If they have 
gone it is useless for us to follow them, but let them 
go their way, and if they appear here again, let them 
know that they will inevitably meet with their death." 
Thus, in accordance with the will of God, the search 



SECOND MISSIONARY TOUR 131 

for them ceased and God's servants Udalricus and 
Albwinus hid on the roof of this matron, who was as 
it were a second Rahab. 

VIII. A certain idol priest was responsible for this 
search and tumult. When he heard the opinions 
expressed in regard to the new preaching, he adopted 
a crafty method of argument Arraying himself in 
a robe taken from an idol shrine, and in some other 
spoils, he left the town secretly and made for a neigh- 
bouring wood where he terrified a peasant who was 
passing by by confronting him unexpectedly. When 
the peasant saw him arrayed in the vesture belonging 
to the idol he imagined that his chief gocl had 
suddenly appeared to him, and falling on his face, 
half dead with fright, he heard him say, " I am the 
god whom thou worshippest, be not afraid, but rise 
up quickly and go into the town and deliver my 
message to the magistrates and to all the people, and 
say that if they declare themselves disciples of that 
seducer who is staying with the Duke Wortizlaus 
at Uznoim, they shall speedily be delivered over 
to a most cruel death ; moreover the town and its 
inhabitants shall perish." When the peasant had 
announced this with all speed to the citizens, they were 
united as one man in their endeavour to carry out 
the commands of their god. 

[H. IV. The report of what had been done soon 
spread throughout the whole province and divided 
asunder houses and villages ; some persons declaring 
that it was good while others said that it was not 
good, but that their leaders had been led astray. The 
idol priests were a chief cause of the divisions that 
occurred, for they were distressed at what had been 
done, and realized that their own gains would cease 
if the worship of demons were to be abolished there. 
They tried therefore by every possible means to 
obstruct, and by means of visions, dreams, prodigies 



i 3 2 THE LIFE OF OTTO 

and various portents invented ingenious argu- 
ments. 

A priest who served the idol in the town of Holo- 
gost, which it was announced the bishop proposed 
to visit next, entered a neighbouring wood at night 
and in a raised place alongside the path stood 
amongst dense foliage arrayed in his priestly garments, 
and in the very early morning he thus addressed a 
peasant who was going from the country to the 
market, "Alas, good man!" The peasant, who 
looked towards the spot from which he had heard 
the voice, seemed to see in the thicket in the uncer- 
tain light someone dressed in white, and was afraid. 
The priest then said, " Stand and hear what I say : I 
am your god, I, who clothe the plains with grass and 
the woods with foliage, the produce of the fields and 
the trees, the offspring of the flocks and everything 
that is of use to man are in my power. I give these 
to my worshippers and take them from those who 
despise me. Tell then the inhabitants of the town 
of Hologost that they accept no foreign god who 
cannot help them, and that they suffer not to live 
the messengers of another religion who, I predict, 
will come to them." When the demon who had 
made himself visible had spoken thus to the 
astonished peasant, the impostor withdrew to the 
denser parts of the wood. The peasant, stupefied 
as though he had heard the voice of a god, fell prone 
upon the ground and worshipped. He then went 
into the town and proceeded to tell what he had 
seen. Why say more? The people believed him, 
and moved by the novelty of the portent, they 
surrounded him time after time and compelled him 
to keep on repeating the same story. Finally the 
priest, who seemed as though he were entirely 
ignorant, arrived and at first pretended to be indig- 
nant with him for telling a lie ; he then began to 
listen attentively and to urge him to speak only that 



SECOND MISSIONARY TOUR 133 

which was true, and not to try to influence the people 
by inventing what was untrue. He, as became a 
simple peasant, stretched forth his hands, lifted his 
eyes to heaven, and even promised that he would 
point out the very place in which the vision had 
appeared. Then the priest turned to the people and 
with a deceptive sigh exclaimed, " This is what I have 
been saying for a whole year. What have we to do 
with a foreign god ? What have we to do with the 
religion of the Christians? Our god is rightly dis- 
turbed and angered if, after all the benefits he has 
conferred, we turn in our folly and ingratitude to 
another god. But, lest he be angry with us and kill 
us, let us be angry with and kill those who are come 
hither to lead us astray." His speech pleased them 
all and they definitely decided that if Bishop Otto or 
any of his companions should enter the town he 
should forthwith be killed. They came also to the 
wicked resolve that if anyone should receive them 
into his house in case they entered by night or 
secretly, he should be liable to a similar sentence. 
In arranging this they used many insulting words 
and blasphemously derided our religion.] 

But, as we have already said, Divine providence 
helped to conceal its servants until on the following 
clay Bishop Otto came, accompanied by the Duke, 
and brought them forth from their hiding-place. 
But even on the very day on which the bishop came 
there occurred an attack upon God's servants which 
was brought about through the envy of the devil. 
For when the day was drawing towards evening some 
of the bishop's companions, who wanted to examine 
a shrine that existed in this town, proceeded to do so 
without due caution ; whereupon some of the citizens, 
who thought that they wished to commit the shrine to 
the flames, assembled together and advanced to meet 
them with passionate gestures and a discordant clatter 



i 3 4 THE LIFE OF OTTO 

of arms. Then the good priest Udalricus turned 
to his companions and said, " It is not without reason 
that these have assembled, but be assured that they 
are indeed bent on our destruction." When his 
companions heard this they went back and sought 
refuge in flight. But one of them named Dietricus, 
who was in advance of them and had already 
approached the doors of the temple, not knowing 
where to turn, boldly entered the shrine itself and, 
seeing a golden shield fastened to the wall which had 
been dedicated to Gerovit their god of war, and which 
they considered it unlawful to touch, he seized the 
shield and went forth to meet them. They, like 
ignorant peasants, thought that their god Gerovit 
was advancing to meet them, and retired stupefied 
with amazement and fell to the ground. When 
Dietricus perceived their folly he threw away the 
shield and fled, thanking God that He had thought 
fit to deliver His servants out of their hands. 



[H. VI. On entering the town (of Hologost) the 
bishop received the faithful and strenuous support 
of the Duke and, having scattered the seed of the 
gospel, was able to soften little by little the hard 
hearts of the unbelievers by the soothing ointment 
of his preaching. Meanwhile some of our companions 
made fun of Udalricus and Alb winus, who had emerged 
from their hiding-place, and joining us had related 
the events which had caused them fear. And, as 
though to display their contempt for them, they 
began to show themselves bold, and, leaving their 
companions, as the bishop prolonged his discourse, 
they wandered into an idol temple. Certain ill-dis- 
posed men in whose hearts idolatry still flourished, 
said, " Behold, these men are examining how they 
may burn cur temples." They gathered together 
then in an open place carrying arms and clubs and 



SECOND MISSIONARY TOUR 135 

blocked the way by which we appeared likely to 
come out. Udalricus, who stood and watched them 
from a distance, said, " Do you not see that it is for some 
purpose that these have assembled? For they are 
behaving riotously and they are all armed." Then 
recalling his former danger, he said, " I would not 
tempt my God so often." Turning round then he 
began to return to the place where he had left the 
bishop ; the others followed him with the exception of 
a certain priest named Theoderic who had advanced 
some distance in front of them, and was already 
touching the doors of the temple. The pagans, who 
had assembled, when they saw that they had come 
back from the path on which they had started, did 
not dare to follow them, but rushed, all of them, to 
kill the priest. When he saw this, having no way by 
which he might turn from them, notwithstanding his 
terror he entered the temple itself. There was there 
hanging on the wall a shield of great size and of 
marvellous workmanship, covered with sheets of gold, 
which no human being might touch, because there 
was in it something sacro^pknt and which betokened 
their pagan religion, so that it would never be moved 
out of its place save only in time of war. For, as 
we afterwards found, it was dedicated to their god 
Gej2yjj^jwho_jiiJ^ti^ and the people 

were confident of success in every battle in which it 
went before them. The priest, who was a man of 
keen intelligence, as he fled hither and thither in 
the temple in fear of death, looking for a weapon, 
or a place in which to hide, seized the shield, and 
laying the thong on his neck and with hfo IP ft- hand 
passed through truTstraps, rushed from the door into 
the midst of the raging crowd. When the peasants 
beheld his strange armour some turned to flee, while 
others fell on the ground, as though they had been 
dead. He threw away the shield and began to run 
towards the guest house to join his companions, and 



136 THE LIFE OF OTTO 

" fear gave wings to his feet." When, gasping and 
pallid, he reached his own people the whole night 
was spent in the presence of all, and specially of the 
bishop and the Duke, in the pleasant task of telling 
of his fright and that of those who had been sent, and 
had been hidden for three days. Nevertheless the 
good father admonished his sons and disciples to act 
with caution in view of the stratagems of the secret 
Enemy. He continued in this place disputing and 
persuading concerning the kingdom of God, until all 
the people had received the sacraments of the faith 
and had destroyed their temples and prepared the 
sanctuary of a church with an altar. When the 
bishop had consecrated this sanctuary he ordained 
John as their priest and exhorted them to go on 
with the building of the remainder of the church after 
he should have left them. 1 

IX. The Apostle of Pomerania, after spending the 
following week in spreading the knowledge of the 
faith and in handing on baptismal grace in this 
town, appointed over its inhabitants the devout priest 
John. He then made for another town called 
Chozegow, 2 which contained temples of great^. beauty 
ancT~rnarvellous design, in the building of which 
the citizens of this town had spent three hundred 
talents. They offered our blessed father a very large 
sum of money if he would refrain from destroying 
them and would keep them whole and uninjured 
as an ornament to the place. This the man of God 
altogether refused to do, as he declared that he 
could by no means agree to preserve these sacrilegious 
buildings which after his departure would give rise 
to apostasy and be the cause of ruin to those who 
were weak. He said that he would not become 
responsible in the sight of God for this offence. 

1 Cf. Virgil, &n. viii. 244, " pedibus timor addidit alas/' 

2 Giitzko v. 



SECOND MISSIONARY TOUR 137 

[H. VII. He then bade good-bye to all the people 
(at Hologost), and having with much affection com- 
mitted them to Almighty God, he turned towards 
Gozgaugia. In this town was a temple of great 
size and beauty. When the bishop spoke to its 
inhabitants concerning the Christian faith through 
an interpreter for the Duke had already left him 
on his own business they declared that they were 
prepared for anything if only their temple might 
remain intact, for it had been recently built at great 
expense, and they were very proud of it because 
it appeared to be an ornament to the whole town. 
They made attempts secretly and sent some men 
to try to soften the disposition of the bishop by 
gifts in the hope that the building might be preserved. 
Finally they asked that it might be altered and 
used as a church. But the bishop consistently 
maintained that it was unfitting that a building 
that had been erected and called by the name of 
a demon, and that had been profaned by indecent 
rites, should be transferred to the service of God : 
"For what concord has Christ with Belial?" 1 or 
" what hath the temple of God in common with 
an idol temple ? " 2 He spake also a parable unto 
them, " Do you sow your wheat on top of brambles 
and thorns? I think not. If then you root up the 
thorns and thistles from your fields in order that, 
when good seed has been sown, they may bring 
forth the wished-for crops, so is it right that this 
root of idolatry be utterly destroyed from among 
you in order that from the good seed of the gospel 
your hearts may bear fruit unto eternal life." With 
these and other similar words, he continued day 
after day, in season and out of season, to entreat, 
denounce and accuse, 3 till at length he so far influenced 
the minds of the pagans that they themselves with 
their own hands demolished the images and broke 

1 2 Cor. vi. 15. 2 2 Cor. vi, 16. 3 Cf. 2 Tim. i\. 2. 



138 THE LIFE OF OTTO 

up this accursed building, concerning which the 
discussion had arisen.] 

His preaching gained great weight from the fact 
that, although the Lord had ordained that those 
who preach the gospel should live of the gospel, 1 
he did not make use of this power which belonged 
to him as an apostle, but maintained both himself 
and his companions at his own cost. He had 
arranged with his fatherly forethought that money 
obtained from the farms belonging to his bishopric 
should be sent to him by trusty messengers, so that 
he might deprive those who were envious of him 
of any excuse for criticism, and might prevent them 
from supposing that hjs poverty had induced him 
to come to these remote regions, or from thinking 
that in consequence of a lack of food in his own 
country he had retired to this rich territory in order 
that, whilst pretending to preach the gospel, he might 
secure abundant nourishment. Endowed as he was 
with great wisdom, he understood the possibility 
of this misunderstanding, and he never consented 
to receive carnal things from those amongst whom 
he was sowing spiritual things, nor did he ever 
consent to receive from them anything in the nature 
of a present. If, however, anything was voluntarily 
offered by the chief men who were most closely 
associated with him, and he were entreated and 
constrained to accept it, he would offer in an honour- 
able manner some treasure of his own and gave 
more than he received, following the example of 
Solomon, who, when the Queen of Sheba offered 
many different gifts, gave her far more than he 
received from her. For this reason the good father 
was willingly listened to by all, because they saw 
that he had an abundance of earthly treasures and 
that it was only the love of Christ and no desire 

1 2 Cor. ix. 14. 



SECOND MISSIONARY TOUR 139 

for gain that induced him to undertake the task 
of preaching the gospel. 

X. At the very time that he was destroying these 
shrines of marvellous workmanship in the town 
of Chozegow 1 certain honourable messengers from 
Duke Adalbert arrived, who carefully examined his 
condition, and at the same time there came messen- 
gers from his own farms at Mucheln and Schidingen, 
who brought hinfthe i" suppiiesjharHaH" been, promised . 
When they perceived the grace of God and saw 
that the Church there was growing and becoming 
strong they were filled with great joy and with the 
consolation of the Holy Spirit. And indeed it was 
a joyous sight when images of great size and mar- 
vellously sculptured, covered too with most beautiful 
designs, which many yoke of oxen could hardly 
move, had their hands and feet cut off, their eyes 
dug out and their nostrils mutilated, and were drawn 
down to a certain bridge to be burnt with fire, while 
the supporters of the idols stood by and with loud 
ejaculations exclaimed that help should be given 
to their gods and that the wicked subverters of their 
country should be cast down from the bridge and 
drowned. Others who were of wise counsel protested 
that if these were indeed gods they should be able 
to defend themselves ; inasmuch as they kept silence 
and could not even move out of their place except when 
drawn, it was clear that they altogether lacked feeling 
and actual life. The idol priests, however, en- 
deavoured to stir up discord in order to secure their 
own gain. For, as we read in the prophet Daniel, 2 
dishes of food and drink of every kind and in great 
abundance were placed in front of these large 
projecting images, all of which the priests and their 
friends declared were consumed by the gods, though 
they had themselves secretly entered and taken them 
away. 

1 i. e. Giitzkow. 2 Dan. i. 5 ; v. 4. 



140 THE LIFE OF OTTO 

1. But we must not omit to relate the miracle 
which was manifested while these shrines were being 
destroyed. For, all of a sudden, whilst many people 
were standing by, flies of unusual size, such as were 
never before seen in that land, rushed from the 
ruins of the idols in such vast numbers that they 
darkened the whole of the district round the city 
and seemed to obscure the daylight by a hideous 
darkness, and, as by their fierce onslaught they 
distressed the eyes and lips of all, they caused to 
those who saw them no small horror. When, how- 
ever, they were driven away by violent slaps of 
the hand, they kept coming on with no less insistence, 
till at length as the believers sung aloud the praises 
of God and carried round the standard of the Cross, 
a detestable monster fled out of the open doors 
and with utmost speed made for the country of 
the barbarians who are called Ruthenians. 1 In the 
opinion of all who were wise trtis" portent clearly 
presaged the expulsion of the devils, of which 
Beelzebub, that is the man of flies, was chief, for 
these devils could not endure the grace of Christ 
which was brought by these new teachers, and when 
they were denied any resting-place in these parts, 
they went to the Ruthenians who were still ensnared 
in pagan error. 

XII. 2 When then the idol shrine had been destroyed 
and the people had been gathered into the bosom of 
Mother Church by the washing of regeneration, the 
holy preacher began to build a new church for Christ. 
There came to its dedication the chief of this place 
called Mizlaus, who, at the conference that was held 
at Pentecost in Uznoim, had with other chiefs 
received the grace of baptism, and to them the good 
bishop spoke through his interpreter Adalbert, who 

1 i. e. the inhabitants of the island Rugia. 

2 The whole of this chapter occurs in almost the same words in 
Herbordus (III. 9\ 



SECOND MISSIONARY TOUR 141 

afterwards became a bishop. " My beloved son 
whom I have begotten to Christ our Lord through 
the gospel, this exterior dedication signifies the interior 
dedication of thy heart, which is about to take place. 
For thou art a temple of God in which Christ deigns 
to dwell by faith, 1 and if thou wilt adorn thy heart's 
dwelling-place so that it may be a dwelling pleasing 
to God who visits it, I will with spiritual joy carry 
through this exterior dedication." 

Touched by these words of his blessed father and 
apostle he replied with tearful voice, "What, holy 
father, wouldst thou have me do in order that 
God may condescend to visit my breast ? " He 
answered, " This is what I advise, namely that thou 
shouldst examine the secrets of thy conscience, and 
if thou hast taken anything by violence from anyone, 
that thou make fitting restoration, and, if thou hast 
brought into captivity any for the sake of gain, that 
thou shouldst set them free for the honour of God." 
The questioner replied, " I have done violence to no 
one, but I have in my possession many captives who 
are under great obligations to me." The man of God 
answered, " Inquire whether any of them are Chris- 
tians." When he had inquired he found that many 
who came from the country of the Danes were 
Christians. These he placed, at once, before our 
blessed father, after he had completely absolved them 
from their debts. Whereupon the servant of God 
expressed his jcy and said, " As thou hast begun, 
complete an offering pleasing to the Lord and set 
free also the pagans who are held in captivity in 
order that they may the more readily submit them- 
selves to the yoke of the faith." He replied, " These 
are guilty of many offences and have inflicted on me 
unbearable injuries, but, lest the joy of this dedication 
should be clouded by any sorrow, I will that they be 
set free in accordance with thy saying, beloved father." 

1 2 Cor. vi. 16. 
K 



142 THE LIFE OF OTTO 

When he heard this the holy teacher gave thanks, 
mingled with tears, and said, " Now shall this dedi- 
cation be acceptable to God, forasmuch as by this 
work of piety thou hast dedicated unto the Lord the 
guest-chamber of thy heart to become his habitation." 
When he had said this he commenced the solemn 
rites of the dedication of the church. It happened, 
by the will of God, that there was a lack of ashes, 1 
for although the ministers declared that they had 
placed ashes around the altar on the previous day, 
marvellous to relate, no sign of the scattering of ashes 
could anywhere be found. Then the good priest 
Udalricus, moved by the Spirit of God, went quickly 
to a tiny dwelling-place underground in order to 
collect ashes. On hearing his approach a captive 
who was there concealed groaned and uttered his 
voice and stretched out a hand from the cell. 
Udalricus, the servant of God, was astonished and, 
as he drew near to see what this meant, he beheld a 
young man in a miserable plight with his neck, his 
breast and his feet chained. When an interpreter 
had been summoned, he heard the captive say, " Have 
pity on me, O servant of God, and put forth thy hand 
in order that thou mayest lead me forth from the 
heavy yoke of this captivity. For I am the son of a 
noble Danish chief, and the Duke Mizlaus, on account 
of five hundred marks that my father owes him, keeps 
me shut up here." When he heard this Udalricus 
returned in haste to the bishop and said to him 
privately, " It was not without cause that there 
occurred this hindrance to our service of dedication, 
for while I was gone to collect ashes I found, by the 
help of God, a son of a Danish chief closely shut up, 

1 The office for the dedication of a church in the Roman Pontifical 
reads, "Meanwhile one of the ministers scatters ashes on the pavement 
in the form of a cross ;" and later on, "Then the bishop receives the 
salt and mixes it with ashes . . . and taking a hanHful of the mixture 
of salt and ashes he dips it thrice into water . . . and then puts wine 
into the water." 



SECOND MISSIONARY TOUR 143 

and this dedication cannot be made valid unless lie is 
set free with the others." The bishop replied, " We 
have already taken so much upon us that I cannot 
venture to ask of him anything more, for even in 
Teutonic lands, no chief would readily do this. But, 
if you will, arrange a secret meeting with him, and 
perchance he will agree to what you ask, though the 
matter is a serious one." Accordingly Udalricus 
took Adalbert his interpreter and led Mizlaus out of 
the crowd, and after saluting him with the words 
of Christ's peace, asked him if all his captives had 
been set free. When he replied " Yes," Adalbert the 
interpreter said, "Why didst thou try to deceive 
Christ, who cannot be deceived? Why dost thou 
distress his apostle by denials and dissimulation? 
By thy dissimulation thou hast placed an obstacle in 
the way of the dedication of the church. It was by 
God's command that the ashes that were placed here 
yesterday have disappeared to-day. While Udalricus, 
the monk, who is dearly beloved by my lord, had 
gone, not by chance, but by divine interposition, to 
seek for ashes, he discovered thy captive whom thou 
wouldst have hidden from God, to whom all things 
are open." The chief, when he heard this, was dumb- 
founded. " This captive," said he, " is hateful to me 
above all the others. I beg, therefore, that his case 
should not be made public, but that he should be 
kept, as he deserves, in the dwelling-place under- 
ground." To him, Udalricus, the servant of God, 
replied, " Let it not be that, by this one act of 
cruelty, the great deeds of piety which you have 
shown towards God, and for which you are admired 
and honoured by my master the bishop, should perish. 
But know in very truth that this most sacred and 
joyful dedication can in no wise be completed unless 
you set him free with the rest and thereby offer to 
the Lord an acceptable sacrifice." He answered, 



144 THE LIFE OF OTTO 

" What then will become of the five hundred talents 
of silver which are due to be paid by his father for 
the unspeakable injury that he has done unto me?" 
The servant of God replied, " Be not overmuch 
distressed on this account, the Lord has treasure 
wherewith He can pay thee back a hundredfold." 
Then at length the chief Mizlaus, overcome by the 
help of God's grace, was dissolved in tears, and with 
deep sighs and lamentations, said, " I call God to 
witness that, if I were to give my body to be martyred 
for His name, I could not perform a greater deed, or 
one which weighs more heavily upon me, than what I 
now do with extreme reluctance, for the honour of 
God Almighty, and for love of my lord bishop, namely, 
when I set free this man who owes me so great a 
debt and whom I had determined should on no 
account be released." He forthwith sent soldiers and 
had him brought forth out of the dark prison, and, 
placing him with his hands bound upon the altar that 
was to be consecrated, he offered him as a sweet- 
smelling offering to the Lord. He soon gave orders 
that his chains should be loosed, whilst all who were 
present wept for joy and blessed God for his so great 
devotion. Then at length the venerable bishop ot 
Christ carried to a happier and more assiduous com- 
pletion the service of dedication which he had begun. 

XIII. 1 The ancient enemy of our race, however, 
did not with tranquil eyes behold these happy events, 
and, inasmuch as many vessels of captivity had been 
snatched from his grasp by the blessed bishop, he 
endeavoured by every means within his power to 
disturb the seeds of Christianity that had been sown 
by tares of discord and external wars. For the Duke 
of the Polonians, who was called Bolezlav, before the 
coming of our father Otto had been greatly offended 
by the people of Pomerania and had announced the 
coming of a strong force. This people, who had but 

1 Nearly all the contents of this chapter appear in Herbordus (III. lo). 



SECOND MISSIONARY TOUR 145 

recently been initiated into the sacraments of the 
faith, was not a little frightened by this announce- 
ment, and their chiefs and elders hastened to their 
apostle as constituting their safest refuge and eagerly 
begged for his advice. They said, " Thou, our lord 
and father, hast promised to us, in the word of God, 
liberty and secure peace, if we submitted to the 
Christian faith. Behold now our brothers in Polonia, 
while the first-fruits of the faith are in the act of being 
gathered in, have broken the treaty of peace and are 
proclaiming war against us, and endeavouring to 
stain once again by the shedding of human blood the 
people who were but recently cleansed by the washing 
of baptism. Let it not be that while you were present 
with us the Church of Christ that has been here gathered 
together should be dispersed and at a time when with 
your coming peace has come to this province." When 
he heard this the good father shed tears and said, 
" Be not afraid, my God, in whom as a result of my 
unworthy coming ye have believed, is able to remove 
the cause of war and to restore to His new fold the 
desired peace. I am myself ready to lay down my 
life on your behalf: only devote your attention to 
the religion which ye have learned. I and my com- 
panions will go to the Duke of Polonia and, with 
God's help, will induce him to abandon his intention 
of making war." Whereupon they fell prostrate at his 
feet and rendered to him the thanks that were his 
due. 

He then made arrangements in regard to his fellow- 
travellers and left the holy priest Udalricus, entrusting 
to him the task of strengthening the newly-converted 
people of Uznoim. He himself commenced his 
journey to the Duke of Polonia as he had announced. 
When the Duke heard of his coming he met him 
with haste and with due reverence, and continued to 
treat him with every kindness, as was right, for before 
this time he had known him as a friend. When he 



146 THE LIFE OF OTTO 

learned the cause of his journey, he was astonished 
and said that that people had ravaged his land and 
people with bestial cruelty and ferocity, and had even 
dragged parents from their tombs, and had cut off 
their heads, torn out their teeth and scattered their 
bones on the public roads, and it was a wonder that 
he (the bishop) was~lnrnself alive and had not been 
torn in pieces by them, as all who came thither in 
former times to proclaim Christ had incurred sentence 
of death, and one of these had recently suffered death 
by crucifixion. The bishop declared that he was 
safeguarded by divine protection, by the respect 
shown to the Roman chief, and by the defence pro- 
vided by the Duke Wortizlaus, and he said that this 
nation had now received Christian grace and that he 
had come in order to ward off a warlike attack from 
a nation which had received God's peace, so that the 
newly-made flock might not be perturbed at the begin- 
ning of its Christian life and might not wander from 
the right path. The Duke Bolezlav replied that it 
was not easy for him to abandon an expedition that 
had been so long prepared, and that he would hence- 
forth be despised by everyone if he did not inflict 
just vengeance upon the Duke of the Pomeranians, 
who had so greatly offended him ; he rendered 
thanks to God that His servant had departed from 
this people, because while he was with them he could 
not wage war upon this people that had become his 
enemy. The bishop answered, "Though I have 
myself retired, Udalricus my beloved chaplain has 
remained there, whom I left to confirm and console 
the newly-converted people, and I am torn with 
anxiety for him no less than for myself. Know, 
therefore, my beloved son, that if you should alienate 
from the yoke of the faith Christ's new spouse by 
shattering her by war you will have to render an 
account to God in the great Judgment. I am myself 
prepared to die for the sheep that have been entrusted 



SECOND MISSIONARY TOUR 147 

to me." The Duke replied, " If the Duke of the 
Pomeranians will humble himself and come to me in 
person and ask for pardon I will do as you say, and 
I call God in heaven to witness that I would not 
consent to do this great thing even for my lord and 
king Lotharius ; but I have had respect to thee and 
to. thy hoary head, because thou didst not hesitate to 
endure fatigue for the love of God by coming into 
these remote and barbarous districts." 

Messengers of distinction were accordingly des- 
patched forthwith, who summoned the Duke Wortiz- 
laus and Udalricus, and provided them with the safe- 
conduct for which they asked. Their three days' 
journey having been completed, they arrived at 
Polonia and they and their suite were received with 
honour, and commenced to deal with the matter 
for which they had come. For two days they failed 
to complete their task, but on the third day, by God's 
assistance, and by the help supplied by Otto, they 
gave each other the kiss of reconciliation and peace, 
and having abandoned their intention of righting the 
two dukes in the presence of the leaders and nobles 
pledged themselves to maintain a treaty of inviolate 
goodwill. The Duke of Pomerania in token of his 
devotion offered on the altar of St. Adalbert a 
large sum of money and, after commending himself to 
their prayers, returned to Uznoim by the way that he 
had come, together with Otto and all his companions. 

The people which had but recently accepted the 
Christian laws shed tears of gratitude for the peace 
and security which God had given them, and were 
encouraged to preserve with all care the faith that 
had been handed down to them, whilst the devout 
preacher with vigilant care sent ministers of the Word 
to the towns that lay around as he had done before. 

XIV. There were on the other side of the sea 
barbarous people called Ucranians who were dis- 
tinguished for their cruelty and savagery. When 



148 THE LIFE OF OTTO 

these heard news of the good bishop, they sent to him 
a number of messengers who assured him that if ever 
he should venture to come to their land he and all his 
companions would immediately be delivered over to a 
most cruel death. When the man of God, who was 
fervent in spirit, put aside their threats and on several 
occasions arranged to go thither, he was kept back by 
all who desired to preserve his life. He was, never- 
theless, distressed because none of his companions 
desired to attempt this task. When Udalricus, the 
holy priest of St. Egidius, perceived this, he offered 
himself without hesitation for this hazard. Otto 
congratulated him and granted him permission and 
companions for his journey. Adalbert, the interpreter 
of the man of God, was not present on this occasion, 
but when he learned what had occurred, he strove to 
turn away the bishop from this design and addressed 
him thus with tears and sobs, " Holy father, what is it 
thou doest ? Why dost thou not fear to send thy 
beloved fellow-worker to his death ? Know of a truth 
that thou wilt be adjudged by us all to be responsible, 
and as hungering for his death?" God's servant 
smiled and said, " Did not the Lord Jesus Christ 
Himself send out His disciples as sheep in the midst 
of wolves? 1 And the chief of the apostles who 
is the lord of the whole Church has sent forth many 
of his subjects to overcome the madness of the 
barbarians. St. Clement the Pope sent also Diony- 
sius the Areopagite to Gaul, and other bishops of 
Rome sent their best beloved to evangelize them, 
and these were murdered by the pagans. Nor 
did their masters regard themselves as having been 
responsible for their death, but they rather delighted 
in their ready devotion to glorious suffering. God 
is my witness that for love of Him I would myself be 
ready to undertake this perilous task of preaching the 
gospel, but ye are preventing me by force from setting 

1 St. Matt. x. 16. 



SECOND MISSIONARY TOUR 149 

forth for this reason I do not refuse to send forth 
this servant of Christ who himself wishes to go." In 
the following night Udalricus in his sleep saw himself 
in the porch of the Church of St. Egidius engaged in 
girding himself as for a journey. When he tried to 
go out by the door, Berthrada, and Wendelmuot, the 
handmaidens of Christ, with the others who were 
there, seized the fringe of his clothing and drew him 
back and would not suffer him to go out of the door. 
When he was roused from sleep and had related this 
to Adalbert the interpreter, he said that the meaning 
of the vision was clear, that it meant that the brides of 
Christ over whom he was placed in Bamberg had, by 
their insistent prayers, obtained their request from 
God and that he should not seek to go to the 
Ucranians, where certain death awaited him, but that 
he should rather, whilst still alive, revisit his foster 
daughters. Udalricus, the servant of God, however, 
would by no means allow himself to be recalled from 
his good design on this account, but when the 
morning was come made a full confession to Otto, 
and with keen devotion undertook this difficult 
journey in order to procure the remission of sins. 
He embarked without delay with his companions and 
a certain Polonian interpreter, a devout man, and, 
fortified by the blessing of the man of God and by 
the prayers of all who wished him success, he set out. 
At that time the sky and the sea were calm and 
smiling. But when he was some distance from the 
shore the waves were suddenly stirred by a most 
violent wind, and a great storm began to assail him, 
which quickly seized the ship and brought it again to 
the shore which it had left, and at the same time 
restored Udalricus to his former place. This storm 
on the sea which continued for seven days put an end 
to all attempts to undertake this journey. 

H. XII. The worthy priest Udalricus, after he had 



150 THE LIFE OF OTTO 

received the bishop's blessing, prepared what was 
needed for the priestly office, and taking a chalice, 
a book and whatever else was necessary for perform- 
ing mass, he embarked on a ship. When we saw our 
dearly beloved brother hastening by himself to secure 
the palm of martyrdom we did not dare to dissuade 
him, but followed him on his way with abundant 
tears. For about three hours he proceeded with 
favouring winds till he was just out of our sight, when 
a storm arose and contrary winds drove his vessel 
hither and thither and made it impossible for him to 
continue on his course, and, after enduring much 
fatigue, he was driven on to the shore from which he 
had started. Notwithstanding that the storm and the 
rain were beating upon him from above and the 
hurricane was filling the boat from beneath till he 
was completely drenched and seemed hardly able to 
breathe, he was unwilling to abandon his attempt. 
He did not disembark but sat in his little ship waiting 
till the sea should become calm and meanwhile baling 
water out of his ship. When the winds had a little 
subsided, he began his journey again, and was again 
interfered with in a similar way. A third time he 
tried to start, but, as before, the darkness and storm 
came down upon him, and with difficulty, and as 
it were by a miracle, he escaped the fury of the 
sea ; nor did the storm cease for seven days. The 
man of God then understood that the Ucranians were 
unworthy to receive the gift of the gospel. He ran 
therefore to aid him with his clergy and led his 
disciple from the sea-shore to shelter as one who had 
been crowned after wrestling, and gave thanks to God 
for his constancy, and for the greatness of his faith. 
When they had supped the brethren began to make 
jokes concerning the journey of Udalricus. "If 
he had perished," they asked, " who would be respon- 
sible for his murder ? " Adalbert the interpreter, who 
had specially disapproved of what had been clone, 



SECOND MISSIONARY TOUR 151 

said, " Who would be more justly regarded as the 
murderer than the man who sent him to face so great 
a danger ? " The bishop, however, although he had 
before been attacked in this way by the same brother, 
was in no wise perturbed, but referred to the gospel 
and defended his action by the example of the Lord 
Jesus who sent forth His disciples as sheep amongst 
wolves. " Who," he asked, " was regarded as guilty 
of murder when the disciples who were sent by the 
Lord were killed? He who sent the sheep to the 
wolves knew that the sheep would forthwith be 
devoured by the wolves. The sheep were devoured 
by the wolves : the apostles were killed by tyrants." 
He then applied the parable to his own action, 
and inspired his disciples by his closely reasoned 
teaching, and rejoicing in the spirit he spent 
a large part of the night in fitting discourse. When 
the morning came they discussed among themselves 
what they should do, or whither they should go. 
After a little vacillation, they divided among them- 
selves as faithful cultivators whatever work remained 
to be done in the Lord's field, and some went back to 
Timina, whilst the rest went to other places in order to 
preach the gospel.] 

XV. The apostle of the Pomeranians, who wisely 
considered that the will of God was hereby revealed, 
but who judged the Ucranians unworthy to hear the A 
word of salvation, directed his journey to the people j 
of Sieltin who, as we have already said, had apos- 
tatized from the faith, although many who were 
faithful to Christ and were his friends would have 
recalled him from this attempt. For the idol priests 
had stirred up all the apostate people to seek with 
one accord his death. He himself being eager for 
martyrdom and perceiving that none of his companions 
would venture to undertake this task, gathered 
together on a certain day his episcopal clothes, and 



152 THE LIFE OF OTTO 

placing them on his neck started on the journey 
alone, and seeing a boat that happened to be passing 
he paid his passage money and went on board with 
all speed. When, in accordance with the divine will, 
Udalricus discovered what had happened, he imme- 
diately told his companions, who followed him with 
quick steps, the first being Adalbert the interpreter, 
who caught him up and compelled him to return, 
though he was unwilling and strove to resist. He 
groaned deeply, and bitterly deplored his capture, 
and said that he deserved now to have companions 
from amongst his attendants on this dangerous 
journey, whilst they, having regard to his great zeal, 
thought that it was wrong to recall him or to leave 
him unattended. 

[H. XIII. The bishop proposed to go to Stettin 
with his assistants in order to convince its proud 
inhabitants of the wickedness of their apostasy. 
The clergy, however, who were to go with him, 
knowing that the people of Stettin were barbarous 
and cruel, feared both for his safety and their own 
and urged him diligently not to go thither. When 
they were distressed at his action, he said, " I see that 
we have only come for pleasure, and that whatever 
comes in our way that is rough or difficult we con- 
sider must be rejected. Be it so. For though I 
would not compel anyone to seek the glory of 
martyrdom, if it were within my power I would 
persuade all of you to do so. If you are not willing 
to help I ask that you will at any rate not interfere 
with me. Let each one control his own life : you 
are free, I also am free. Let me go, I beseech you." 
When all had been sent away he applied himself to 
prayer in his own cell until the evening. He then 
called a servant boy and ordered him to shut all the 
doors, to keep everyone away from him and to admit 
no one without his approval, When this was done, 



SECOND MISSIONARY TOUR 153 

in accordance with his secret plan he arranged to 
flee. He put on his travelling raiment and girded 
himself, and placing in a bag his priestly robes, a 
book, a chalice and other vessels, he lifted it on to 
his shoulders. Then, concealed by the darkness of 
the night, and without the knowledge of anyone, he 
went forth from the town secretly and unattended, 
and took the road that went towards Stettin. When 
he had looked hither and thither and saw that no 
one was accompanying him he blessed God for the 
success of his stratagem, and with eager joy he began 
his morning Office, and hastened on so as to complete 
his entire journey during that night. As the nocturnal 
traveller was eagerly wending his way the tenth 
hour of the night was drawing on. When the clergy 
rose from their several beds and gathered together to 
say their morning prayers, some went on tiptoe to the 
bishop's cell, eager to discover whether he was asleep 
or awake, or what he was doing, but as they drew 
nearer and still nearer and failed to find the bishop, 
they were greatly perplexed, and after a diligent 
search and having made many inquiries of the man 
in charge of the cell and others who were near, they 
eventually learned what had occurred. Why need 
I say more? They were all distressed, and departed, 
some on foot and some on horseback, to search 
everywhere for the bishop. When the morning came 
those who were on horseback went by a direct path 
and with great haste towards the sea, following the 
route of him who had left them, and came up with 
him as he was going. When he saw them from afar, 
as he was about to embark, he was greatly perturbed, 
and groaning deeply he said, " Alas, Lord Jesus, the 
only Son of God, the only begotten of the Virgin, 
whose name is sweet unto me, wilt Thou deprive me 
of the object of my desire? Grant, I pray, that 
those who are coming may either come with me, or 
that they may not hinder me from carrying out my 



154 THE LIFE OF OTTO 

purpose." As he said this they came up to him, and 
forthwith jumping down from their horses they 
prostrated themselves at his feet. What then 
happened ? He prostrated himself also : they rose 
and he rose : they wept, he also wept, and grief and 
sorrow for a long time prevented them and him from 
speaking. At length when many tears had been 
shed, he who was the eldest burst forth with these 
sorrowful words: "Why have you come? Return, I 
pray you, to your quarters, and I will continue on 
the way on which I have set out." They, however, 
replied : " Be it far from us to do so : it is enough 
for us to have caused this great confusion : from 
henceforth we will never leave you. If you desire to 
return, we will gladly return with you, but if you 
prefer to go on, we will go on with you. But let our 
advice be acceptable to your holiness. Let us return 
to-day to the brethren and to our servants, to-morrow 
we speak as in the presence of God we will all go 
with you either to life or to death." 

XIV. On this understanding the bishop returned 
with them, and on the following day, accompanied 
by them all, he started out on the same journey.] 

Accordingly they embarked in a boat, and when 
they had come near to the town of Stettin those 
on the look-out recognized the bishop and, having 
scanned him carefully, raised a great disturbance 
and cried out to the citizens that the former teacher 
of error had come, and that they ought to attack him 
with swords and clubs and treat him with indignity 
in order to vindicate the honour of their gods. W r hcn 
the servant of God had learned this through his 
interpreter, being fearless and armed with the ardour 
of his faith, he raised the standard of the cross, and 
having made himself ready by putting on his bishop's 
dress contemplated going forth to meet them. He 
first of all entered the church of the chief of the 



SECOND MISSIONARY TOUR . 155 

apostles, which he had built in front of the gate of 
this city, and offered to Christ the worship that was 
His due, and then awaited the onset of the barbarians 
and the completion of his life in Christ. After a 
little while the people burst forth from the gates with 
a tumultuous noise, but when they beheld the servants 
of Christ singing the praises of God, they hesitated 
much and long and conferred amongst themselves as 
to what they should do, and at length, by God's 
help, they were overcome with fear and retreated in 
confusion by the way by which they had come. 

[H. XIV. And they began to be more kindly 
disposed and they said that reason rather than force 
was needed to decide whether these things should 
be accepted or rejected. Then some who were wiser 
than the rest in reference to these matters secretly 
gathered together the priests, saying that it belonged 
to them to defend their own religion by suitable 
arguments. Whilst they muttered these things 
among themselves they gradually departed one by 
one to their own homes. This happened on a Friday.] 

On that day and on the following sabbath day the 
bishop had time for quiet thought as he eagerly 
waited in the same church with his companions for 
the hour of suffering to arrive. 

[H. XVI. The wicked priests, when in a certain 
year men and beasts suffered illness and death 
owing to the changes in the temperature, declared 
that this calamity was sent by the gods, and, with 
the consent of the people, they had broken down the 
bells and had begun to destroy the church of the 
blessed martyr Adalbert. Whilst one of them was 
striking the altar with a mason's hammer, he was 
suddenly struck by the Lord with languor and 
stupor, and as his hammer fell from his hand he 



156 THE LIFE OF OTTO 

too fell to the ground. When, after a long space, 
he had recovered his breath, he addressed the people 
who were standing by as one whose character had 
been reformed by the blow that had befallen him, 
and said, " It is in vain, O citizens, that we strive ; 
the God of the Christians is strong and cannot be 
driven away by us. My advice is that we keep Him, 
but at the same time that we do not part with our 
ancient gods and that we build an altar for our gods 
next to His altar, so that by worshipping them all 
alike we may secure that He and they are equally 
propitious to us." What were the people to do? 
Terrified, as they were, by the portent, they approved 
the advice given them and, having impiously built 
an altar next to the altar of the Lord, they served 
God and devils even as the ancient historian says, 
" The people of Samaria worshipped the gods of the 
nations, but none the less served the Lord." 1 ] 

As the Sunday dawned in the early morn- 
ing after the service of the Mass had been 
completed, Otto, the servant of God, having put 
on his episcopal headdress and with the standard of 
the cross borne in front of him, went forth to the 
multitude of the people in order to preach to them. 
He took with him Udalricus, who wore a dalmatic, 
as a deacon, and Adalbert who served as a sub- 
deacon and others to assist in preaching. There were 
there some large pyramids surrounded by walls 
to a considerable height in pagan fashion. The 
good preacher ascended one of these pyramids with 
his companions, and through his interpreter Adalbert 
began to explain the way of truth to those who 
had gone wrong and to threaten them with eternal 
destruction if they did not turn from their apostasy. 

XVI. As he was engaged in preaching the chief 
idol priest came running breathless and perspiring, 

1 2 Kings xvii. 23. 



SECOND MISSIONARY TOUR 157 

and creeping in amongst the closely pressed crowd 
he struck the pyramid and with a great shout ordered 
the servant of God to be silent. He and his com- 
panions on the previous night had planned to 
effect the death of the bishop at the earliest dawn 
cf Sunday, but by God's providence he had been 
overcome with deep sleep and had been prevented 
from carrying out his purpose. When he awoke, 
at the second hour of the day, and heard that the 
man of God was already preaching in an open 
assembly, he was extremely angry, and rushing 
thither ordered him to be silent. The servant of the 
Lord, however, continued stedfastly to carry out the 
work which he had begun. The idol priest en- 
deavoured to restrain by his noisy and high-pitched 
shouts the gentle voice of Adalbert, the interpreter, 
and with a strong voice ordered the barbarians to 
transfix forthwith Christ's preacher with the spears 
which, in accordance with the old custom of the 
Roman Quirites, they always carried. When they 
were about to obey his commands and had raised 
their right hands aloft in order to strike him, 
influenced by divine power, they became stiff like 
stones, so that they could neither put down their 
spears nor open their mouths, but their hands 
remained suspended and immovable and seemed as 
though they were chained. When the unfortunate 
idol priest saw this, he was inflamed with anger and 
began to charge them with cowardice, and seizing 
a spear from one of them, he tried to transfix 
Christ's servant. He too immediately became rigid, 
and overcome with shame turned to flee. When 
he was gone Otto made the sign of the cross and 
invoked a blessing upon the people, who, being 
forthwith released from their bonds, put down their 
right hands which held the arrows ; whereupon the 
bishop gave thanks to God for this manifest miracle 
and entered the town with confidence ; and when 
L 



158 THE LIFE OF OTTO 

he saw that the central part of the church of St. 
Adalbert had been destroyed, he wept bitterly and, 
kneeling together with his companions, engaged in 
long and earnest prayer. 

Meanwhile the barbarians, armed with swords and 
clubs, had gathered together and had surrounded the 
door of the church, seeking to kill God's servants, 
but as a result of divine influence, they were suddenly 
overcome with trembling and turned to flee. Then 
the chief, Witscacus, who had once been delivered by 
Otto from his captivity with the Danes, intervened 
together with other friends of the bishop and begged 
him by any possible way to leave the city before he 
met his death by the treachery of the priests. The 
saintly bishop refused, saying, " It is for this purpose 

that I have come." 

v 

[H. XVII. Witscacus, who was zealous on behalf of 
, the faith, performed not once nor twice the commission 
that he had received, and from the time when he 
returned from captivity never ceased preaching the 
kirgdom of God, and telling the citizens of the 
compassion of the Lord and the merits of his 
liberator, threatening them too with divine vengeance 
if they did not cease from their errors. All the 
citizens with the exception of the priests regarded 
what had happened with admiration and astonishment, 
but owing to the force of custom they could not give 
up their heathen rites. But now gaining courage 
from the presence of the bishop he spoke more freely 
and more eloquently. He, who had overcome the 
idols and the prophets who had prophesied falsely 
concerning them, came to God's servant, together 
with his friends and acquaintances, and did him 
humble reverence, giving him thanks and telling him 
everything as it had happened. He urged the 
bishop, who was himself eager, to go on with the 
task of preaching, and promised help and advice on 



SECOND MISSIONARY TOUR 159 

behalf of himself and his companions. Accordingly 
on the Lord's Day, when the service of the Mass had 
been completed, the bishop, dressed as he was in his 
sacred armour, with the cross carried in front, as was 
his custom/ asked to be led into the market-place*: 
When he arrived at the gate, the skiff by means of 
which Witscacus had been carried across the sea 
without rowing, was hanging on the gate-post, and 
Witscacus coming to the bishop's side and striking 
the skiff with his spear, said, "Behold, father, this 
skiff witnesses to thy holiness, and establishes my 
faith and my mission to this people. It was very 
short, made of alder wood, and could easily be 
carried by two men. The bishop stood and examined 
the skiff carefully and noted that even in the calmest 
water of a river, when controlled by a pole, it would 
scarcely support a single person, still less could it 
have done so amid the waves of the sea and without 
any guidance, had not a miracle been worked by 
divine power. The good bishop gave thanks to God 
that by this act He had manifested His power to an 
unbelieving people. The man who had been set free 
said, laughing, " I have hung this up at the gate in 
order that those who come in and go out may learn 
thereby what, most holy father, they may hope in 
their times of difficulty from the mercy of God and 
from thy merits." The bishop then pushed his way 
into the compact assemblage of the pagans and 
accompanied by his servants advanced into the 
middle of the market-place. There were there some 
wooden steps from which the heralds and magistrates 
were accustomed to speak. Standing on these the 
minister of the gospel began to speak, while Witscacus, 
acting the part of a herald, stilled with hand and 
voice the murmurs of those who disproved. 

XVIII. When all had become silent and most of 
them were eager to hear his discourse, one of the 
priests who was a man of Belial, and was passionate, 




160 THE LIFE OF OTTO 

fat and tall, rushed into the midst of the crowd, and 
brandishing his spear in his hand, advanced panting 
and gasping as far as the steps, and, raising his hand 
once and again, struck the top of the steps with 
great violence. When a great clamour had arisen and 
strange words of abuse had been uttered, he demanded 
silence while he spoke, and his loud and raucous voice 
drowned the speech of the interpreter and of the 
bishop. Addressing the people he said, " O senseless, 
foolish and indolent people, why are ye deceived and 
bewitched ? Behold, your enemy and the enemy of 
your gods is here. For what do ye wait ? Are they 
to suffer derision and injury for nothing?" While 
all the people were advancing with spears in their 
hands, he said, " Let this day put an end to all his 
deception." Addressing them all, he spoke also to 
those individuals of whose evil disposition he was 
assured, calling them by their own names. Those 
who were inflamed with a spirit of madness and who 
were accustomed to act with rashness rather than 
with discretion, roused by the voice of the speaker, 
began to raise their spears, but while they were 
brandishing them in readiness to throw them, their 
limbs became rigid in the very act of throwing them, 
and, marvellous to relate, they were unable to throw 
their spears, to relax their right arms, or to move out 
of their places. They stood immovable, as images, a 
spectacle to the faithful and the pious. As many as 
were unbelieving and evil disposed and had fallen 
away from the Christian faith, and, continuing in 
their persistent folly in unbelief, had raised impious 
hands against God's servant, stood suffering this 
punishment until the good had been strengthened 
in their faith, and in the case of the others by the 
punishment inflicted on their bodies the wickedness 
of their hearts had been corrected. The bishop, 
making use of the opportunity afforded by the 
miracle, said, " Ye see, my brothers, how great is the 



SECOND MISSIONARY TOUR 161 

power of the Lord. It is indeed, as I perceive, by 
divine power that you are held fast. Why do you 
not throw your spears ? Why not put down your 
right hands ? Why continue so long in one position ? " 
They however, whether through confusion or astonish- 
ment, made no reply. Then he continued, " Let your 
gods for whose religion ye contend help you if they 
can. Let this noisy priest of yours call upon the 
gods on your behalf, let him give you counsel or 
assistance. If he knows anything or can do any- 
thing, now is the time for action." The priest, however, 
stood amazed at the course which the events had 
taken and did not venture to mutter anything more. 
And when all were silent and held by a great fear, 
the bishop being moved with pity said, " Thanks be 
to Thee, O Lord, Jesus Christ, who are wont to 
exercise Thy power and strength, when occasion 
arises, to terrify those who oppose and to protect Thy 
servants. But, inasmuch as Thou art holy and 
compassionate, we pray that Thou wilt pardon the 
ignorance, or the temerity, of this people, and that 
with Thine accustomed pity Thou wilt restore to these 
the use of their bodies, of which by Thy restraining 
power they have been deprived." When he had said 
this and had made the sign of the cross towards 
them, his speech produced an immediate effect The 
bishop added also, " If hitherto you have been 
unwilling to listen, prove now by touch and feeling 
how great is the compassion of our God and how 
true is the faith which we declare unto you." He 
argued at length and with great force concerning the 
judgment and compassion of God and the uncertainty 
of this present life and the continuance of things that 
are eternal, and he instructed the sinners in Zion who 
were afraid, 1 and when they had been overcome by 
the saving medicine of his eloquence, he gave them 
his blessing and dismissed the assembly. Descend- 

1 Isa. xxxiii. 14. 



162 THE LIFE OF OTTO 

ing then from the steps he visited, with the faithful 
believers who were zealous on behalf of God's house, 1 
the Church of St. Adalbert and, having first offered 
a solemn prayer, he destroyed the altar of abomina- 
tion and, having broken it into small pieces, cast it 
out. Having then performed a service of cleansing 
and reconciliation he caused the broken parts of the 
church to be restored at his own expense.] 

After fourteen days a general Conference was 
announced, at which the priests and people might 
arrive at a definite decision either to take upon them 
the yoke of Christ or to abjure it altogether. On the 
appointed day the bishop ascended the hill of Triglav 
in the middle of the town where was the Duke's 
dwelling-place, and entered his large house which was 
a convenient place for this Conference. The chiefs 
together with the priests were present, and when 
silence was made the man of God said, " The day 
that was fixed for our meeting has now come, and I, 
who eagerly desire your salvation, wish to hear from 
your own mouths whether you have decided to serve 
my Lord Jesus Christ, who is the true light, or the 
devil, who is the prince of darkness." One of the 
priests answered, " It was not right that this Confer- 
ence should have been delayed so long, inasmuch as 
I ! in former time and now and always it is our determin- 
ation to worship the gods of our fathers ; do not 
therefore labour to no purpose, for thy speech has no 
place amongst us." 2 On hearing this the man of God 
said, " I perceive that Satan has destroyed your vision 
so that you cannot behold the true light. I am innocent 
of the blood of all of you, 3 for I have not shunned to 
declare unto you the word of God in season and out 

1 I Kings xix. 10. 

2 Sermo tuus non capit in nobis ; cf. St. John viii. 37 (Vulgate), 
quia sermo meus non capit in vobis. on 6 \6yos 6 e/j.bs ou x^P 6 ' e>J/ 

VfJ.1v. 

3 St. Matt, xxvii. 24. 



SECOND MISSIONARY TOUR 163 

of season. 1 But as you have cast away the yoke of 
my Lord Jesus Christ, I commit you to the power of 
Satan whom ye have chosen, so that, being delivered 
over with him to eternal destruction, you may possess 
that heritage where the worm clieth not and the fire is 
not quenched." 2 Rising then from his place he took up 
his spiritual arms and placed his stole on his neck in 
order that he might bind them by his solemn curse. 
When the chiefs saw this they were seized with timely 
fear, and prostrated themselves at his feet humbly, 
entreating him to suspend his curse, and to allow them 
a brief space of time in which to confer. The good 
bishop at once agreed, and placing aside his stole he 
sat down. The chiefs then went out of the house, 
leaving the priests behind, and with one accord they 
abjured the uncleanness of their idolatry and accepted 
the faith of Christ. First of all Witscacus, who was 
the man of chief rank amongst them, went in to the 
servant of God and delivered this opinion on behalf 
of them all. " Honourable father, I, together with the 
chiefs who rule this place, being inspired by God, 
have by a unanimous vote agreed that we banish to a 
distance from our lands these sacrilegious priests who 
have incited us to all evil, and that with ready mind 
we follow you as our leader and teacher on the way 
that leads to eternal salvation." Then he turned to 
the priest who had spoken before and said, " Wretched 
and miserable man, what help did your gods render to 
me when I was closely fettered and guarded, and was 
already awaiting sentence of death, my companions 
having been cruelly strangled, and when I distinctly 
saw Otto, my lord and father, freeing me from my 
fetters and restoring me to the liberty for which I 
longed ? Is it not better for me to serve the living and 
true God who was my liberator, than to serve logs and 
stanes which have neither life nor feeling? Go then 

1 2 Tim. iv. 2. 2 St. Mark ix. 43. 



164 THE LIFE OF OTTO 

with your companions whither you will, and beware 
\ that you appear no more in our territory, for inasmuch 
as our Lord Jesus Christ is King over us, there is no 
room for you and your idols in these parts." When 
they heard this all the idol priests rose up without 
delay and fled with haste, and none of them was 
afterwards seen in that place. The bishop thereupon 
rendered cordial thanks to God, and he and his 
companions began at once to destroy the idol 
temples. 

[H. XIX. As he frequently visited the church of St. 
Adalbert the bishop noticed on one occasion some 
boys playing in an open space. When he had saluted 
them in their own tongue he made as though to join in 
their play, and with the sign of the cross he blessed 
them in the name of the Lord. Going on a little he 
noticed that all the people left their own games, and, 
gathering together with the desire to see him, followed 
behind him admiring his appearance and his clress, as 
common people are wont to do. The man of God 
stopped and addressing in a kindly voice those around 
him inquired if any of them had received baptism. 
They looked one upon another and began to put 
forward those of them who had been baptized, The 
bishop then called them aside and asked them whether 
it was their desire to preserve the faith of their 
baptism. When they strongly asserted that they 
desired to keep it the bishop said, " If you desire to 
be Christians and to keep the faith in which you have 
been baptized, you ought not to admit to your games 
those boys who have not been baptized and who do 
not believe." Accordingly, as the bishop suggested, 
like joined with like, and the boys who had been 
baptized began to repel and show their dislike for 
those who had not been baptized and refused to let 
them join in their games. It was delightful to see 
how the one set gloried in the profession of the 



SECOND MISSIONARY TOUR 165 

Christian name and treated as a friend and gazed 
eagerly upon and listened to their teacher even when 
they were playing, and how the others stood afar off 
confused and frightened in view of their unbelief. 
The good father instructed with mild discourse those 
who believed and urged them to a fuller belief 
according to their several powers, and went on 
exhorting those who did not believe to believe until 
they begged to be baptized and to be made 
Christians.] 

XVII. He then proceeded with joy to reconcile to 
the catholic mother Church those who had apostatized 
from the faith, by bearing aloft the life-giving cross 
and by prayer, after purifying them with water which 
he had blessed, and by the laying on of his hands : 
but in the case of others he refused to confer bap- 
tismal grace and the sacraments of the faith. But as it 
is written, " They that seek the Lord shall lack nothing 
that is good." 1 so the Lord deigned to show to the 
preacher of the truth who was labouring for God his 
bountifulness and loving-kindness. For the fishermen 
of Stettin in the autumn in which they were making 
trial of Christ's service, went to the River Oder and 
captured two turbots which usually appeared only in 
the spring. In their astonishment the people con- 
cluded that their unexpected capture was intended as 
provision for the new preachers. Soon afterwards 
they met their apostle as they were carrying their 
delightful gift and told him that never before had 
turbots been seen in those parts during the autumn, 
but that by a celestial "miracle the Lord had given 
proof of His bounty in view of his coming. The 
turbots were of such great size and length that they 
provided food sufficient for fourteen days for the 
servant of God and his companions and left a large 

1 Ps. xxxiv. 10. 



166 THE LIFE OF OTTO 

amount to be divided amongst some of the chief men. 
As a result the people were more and more strength- 
ened in the faith, beholding with astonishment the 
grace manifested in their apostle by the increase both 
of their temporal and spiritual possessions. 

XVIII. There was a certain shrine situated at a 
distance to which the bishop had sent his faithful and 
beloved friend, the good priest Udalricus, in order 
that he might destroy it. There were, however, a few 
persons who supported the worship of idols, and, when 
they saw him from the wal[ as hejKas coming thither, 
they tried to break hisliead by throwing stones and 
pieces of wood. By the help of God he avoided these 
and was uninjured, and returning to his father Otto 
he told him of their plots. The man of God immedi- 
ately raised the standard of the cross and binding on 
his episcopal headdress he proceeded without hesita- 
tion to undertake this perilous adventure. The 
barbarians would not endure his presence and dis- 
persed hither and thither, seeking to conceal them- 
selves by flight. When the shrine had been destroyed, 
and the man of God was returning he found a very 
large nut tree which was consecrated to the idol 
together with a fountain the water of which flowed 
beneath. He at once ordered his companions to cut 
it down, whereupon the people of Stettin came out 
and earnestly begged that it should not be cut down 
because the indigent man who was its guardian 
obtained his poor subsistence from its fruit. They 
declared also with an oath that by a general edict they 
would for ever prohibit the sacrifices which had been 
there offered to demons. The good teacher, influenced 
by the justice of their reasonings, acceded to this 
request. While they were engaged in mutual discus- 
sion the barbarian who was the guardian of the tree 
suddenly came up and, approaching secretly from 
behind, struck a violent blow with an axe at the sacred 
head of the bishop. By divine providence he missed 



SECOND MISSIONARY TOUR 167 

his aim and struck the axe with such force into the 
wooden floor of the bridge on which the bishop was 
standing that the difficulty of drawing it out again 
caused delay to the assailant. 

XIX. When the interpeter, Adalbert, saw this he 
was struck by so great a fear that he quickly snatched 
the axe from the hands of the barbarian and ran 
off. The others, overcome by unaccustomed horror, 
attacked the sacrilegious man and threatened him 
with death. The pious Otto, however, interfered to 
prevent the murderer from suffering any harm and 
procured for him, unworthy as he was, life and safety. 
Adalbert burst into tears, and with a devout inclina- 
tion of the head, saluted the Bamberg mountain 
dedicated to St. Michael and said, " This blow was 
doubtless averted by providence from my lord bishop 
as a result of the prayers of the brethren in the 
monastery of St. Michael, for this barbarian was by 
nature skilful and versed in the knowledge of shooting 
and of striking with the hand, and if the blow were 
not diverted, he would be able to hit even a circum- 
scribed mark." At that time we offered many prayers 
and supplications, as was our wont, for our beloved 
Otto, who never ceased to cherish us above all others 
with maternal rather than fatherly love. Thus on a 
certain occasion when, having been summoned to a 
public conference by his serene majesty King Lothar- 
ius, he was seriously ill in the town of Magdeburg, he 
sent for our Abbot Hermann, of divine memory, and 
sent us by him three hundred marks, besides other 
gifts, and gave utterance to these sorrowful words : 
" How great are the pains that keep me here sick and 
far removed from my sweet abode of rest, namely the 
hill of my lord and patron St. Michael, the archangel, 
where my heart and mind are fixed, and where God 
is my witness if I could be now placed I would 
gladly pay a thousand marks." And inasmuch as 
love demands love in return from his head as the 



168 THE LIFE OF OTTO 

Scripture saith 1 the ointment fails not, that is, of his 
merit the charity never faileth we strove to repay 
his special affection by offering special and earnest 
prayers on his behalf. To mention only one case, 
Ellenhard who was our senior, and a man of the 
greatest prudence and piety and beloved for his con- 
scientiousness and humility, was wont to anticipate 
the nocturnal prayers of the brethren and never ceased 
to assail the placid ears of divine mercy by his tears 
and sighs until as a result of his merits he secured a 
response from heaven and heard of the much-desired 
return of Otto. 1 For when in the night time, in 
accordance with his custom, he was offering up earnest 
prayers for his beloved father on the dark steps of 
the chapel consecrated to the holy virgins, a clear light 
suddenly shone forth and he heard a voice saying to 
him, " Thy prayers for the holy Otto have been heard 
and thou shalt receive him again in safety," We 
have been constrained to insert these few remarks, but 
must now return to our subject. 

XX. When the inhabitants of Stettin had been 
confirmed in the faith and teaching of the Lord and 
the man of God was arranging to return to Uznoim, 
the citizens of the town came to him and begged that 
by his intervention he would put an end to the 
dispute which at the instigation of the devil had 
broken out between them and the Duke Wortizlaus. 
Whereupon he said, " I will do as you wish, but I 
desire that you should send messengers of honourable 
rank with me to bring back to you the terms of peace 
and, if the Duke has any just cause of complaint, to 
explain the points that may be raised." The people 
of Stettin immediately appointed messengers to 
accompany their good pastor, who also served as a 
guard to the bishop on the journey. For two idol 
priests had laid snares in order to secure the death of 

1 Eccles. ix. 8. Vulg. et oleum de capite tuo non defjciat ; I Cor, 
,%iii. 8 ? caritas nunquam excidit. 



SECOND MISSIONARY TOUR 169 

the man of God, and had sent on secretly eighty-four 
soldiers to find and kill him on his return journey and 
to bring back to them his head fixed on a post. But 
against the Lord is there no wisdom, no fortitude, no 
counsel. 1 For the holy Otto, being protected by 
divine providence, came forth unharmed, whilst the 
unbelievers fell into the snare and pit which they had 
prepared. For in the absence of the good bishop the 
chief idol priest called together his friends and with 
exceeding joy bade them keep this day as a festival 
day for their gods,and he said, " Our god whom that old 
deceiver has attempted to destroy has appeared to me, 
and has clearly announced that Otto's head is to be 
cut off to-day, and sent to me to-day." When he had 
given vent to this wild utterence with laughing voice, 
his neck was suddenly shattered by the devil and his 
head was bent back cross-wise, in a horrible and 
pitiable manner, and his brain coming out of its place 
was dashed against the wall with a cruel impact. 
When his friends saw this they were struck with 
amazement and inquired of him the cause of this 
strange calamity. He cried out with a dreadful voice 
and at length exclaimed, " It is because I have tried to 
ensnare the servant of God, and to separate you from 
the way of truth, that I have been terribly afflicted by 
God." Having said this he expired and the place was 
thereupon filled with so dreadful an odour that as he 
was dying no one could stand there on account of the 
unbearable smell. And as it is written, " When a 
pestilent man is punished the wise man will become 
wiser," 2 so all the people, when they heard of his 
death, were more and more encouraged to persevere 
in the faith. There was, however, one other idol 
priest who was not overcome with remorse, but began 
an altercation with the man of God and declared that 
his teaching would soon be done away with in those 
parts. He endeavoured also to draw away from the 

1 Cf. Prov. xxi. 20. 2 Cf. Prov. xix. 25; xxi. II. 



170 THE LIFE OF OTTO 

true path all whom he could influence, and as a result 
he also perished soon afterwards by the judgment of 
God. For whilst for some urgent reason he was 
crossing the sea in a boat, he left the boat for a short 
time in order to retire to a neighbouring wood. By 
divine providence it came about that some of his 
companions, armed with righteous zeal, followed him 
secretly, and when they had caught him in a cruel snare 
they hung him up in a closely wooded place. So his 
grief and his iniquity descended on his own head. 1 
When then the eighty-four soldiers who, as we have 
said, had been sent on by that wicked idol priest had 
seen the man of God as he was sailing, they burst 
forth from their hiding-place and demanded of him in 
a loud voice whither he was going. The messengers 
from Stettin asked in return why they made this 
inquiry, but the others, recognizing the voices of their 
own friends and citizens, stopped and said that they 
had been unaware of their presence there. They 
replied, " The Lord's bishop is going to put a stop to 
the discord that has long existed between us and the 
Duke, and for this reason we will not suffer any harm 
to molest him on his journey, but are prepared to 
suffer death on his behalf. If therefore you desire to 
consult your own interests, return as quickly as 
possible by the way by which you came." 

[H. XXIV. The wicked priests, however, who were 
inspired by devils, as they could not act openly, tried 
to injure God's servant by craft. They accordingly 
brought together a great number of assassins, and 
invested the route by which he was leaving at the 
narrowest part where the ship would pass, having 
foretold, as though by divination, the death of the 
bishop to his friends, who were unaware of what was 
being done. When they came to the spot the enemy 
seized their arms, laid hold on those who were climb- 

1 Ps. vii. 17. 



SECOND MISSIONARY TOUR 171 

ing the ropes and attacked those who were sailing the 
boat, desiring above everything the bishop's blood. 
But the people of Stettin and our men who were with 
the bishop seized their arms and jumped from the 
boat, and standing some on the land and some in the 
water bravely repelled force by force. When the fight 
had gone on for some time, those who had taken part 
in the ambuscade began to be recognized by the 
people of Stettin and fled in confusion from the scene 
of their crime.] 

XXI. Thus, by divine providence, was the wicked 
design of the idol priest frustrated, whilst the servant 
of God drew near to the town of Julin which had 
formerly been initiated by him into the sacraments of 
the faith. 

[H. XXV. When, by the help of God, the bishop 
arrived at Julin he met there with no opposition. 
For the people bore with patience all his remonstrances 
in reference to their apostasy, and other offences, and 
were ready to purge and improve their unworthy and 
evil actions and to amend their conduct in accordance 
with his teaching. By the laying on of his hands 
and by use of the sacred word he reunited all to the 
holy and apostolic Church, baptizing the boys and 
those whom he found had not received this sacra- 
ment. As they, like the inhabitants of Stettin, had 
abandoned the faith, so, when these were converted, 
their conversion was rendered easy, for it was their 
desire to imitate them in all matters.] 

When he had strengthened its people, alike by his 
teaching and example, a certain woman who had been 
deprived of her sight fell at -his feet and earnestly 
entreated his blessing and that she might be cured. 
The good Otto addressing her in a jovial manner 
said, " Behold, the church of the martyr St. Adal- 



172 THE LIFE OF OTTO 

bert is near at hand, trust in God and His saints and 
run thither, and lay hold on the bell, and ask for the 
aid of the martyr of Christ." For these barbarous 
people, who were yet uninstructed in the faith, when 
they sought to obtain any cure in a church, were 
accustomed to ring the bell in order, as it were, 
to incite the saints to come to their help. When 
then with simple faith and expectation this woman 
had done what the bishop said, she there received her 
sight, and returned, leaping with delight, to the 
servant of God and gave thanks for the cure that she 
had obtained. He said to her, " Not to me but to 
God and His saints should you give thanks, and may 
you not fail to persevere to the end in the faith which 
you have learned." 

[H. XXVI. When the people of the town saw this 
they gave thanks to the Lord for this favour and 
were the more strengthened in the catholic faith. 
But when they wished to ascribe this deed to the 
bishop's merits, he restrained them and said, " Do 
not recognize me as a worker of miracles but as 
a sinner ; rather know of a certainty that this should 
be ascribed to the merits of the blessed martyr 
Adalbert. Have you forgotten how in a former year 
when the whole of this town was devastated by 
fire the blessed martyr delivered this his building, 
although it was placed in the middle of the con- 
flagration ? My advice to you is that, mindful of that 
calamity, you do not again worship either Julius, 
or the spear of Julius, or the little idol statues, or 
images, repeating thus your former evil actions, lest 
by divine vengeance you incur death, pestilence, fire 
and war." These and other like soothing words 
God's servant uttered for the instruction of the 
people.] 

After this a certain soldier, who had a lunatic son, 



SECOND MISSIONARY TOUR 173 

brought him to the servant of God and offered 
him four oxen to restore his son to health. The 
bishop in his humility shrunk back and said, " Thou 
errest, O man ; it is not within my power to do this, 
but go to the tent where I have placed the relics 
of the saints, and there offer with faith to God and 
His saints thy prayers for thy son, and thou wilt 
receive him back again in health." He went with 
the boy and did as he was instructed, and soon after- 
wards he showed the boy, who had been healed, 
to the man of God with great joy. 

XXII. It happened after this on the feast of St. 
Lawrence that a certain priest named Bockens, who 
was one of Otto's companions, as he was passing 
by saw some peasants reaping in their fields. He 
endeavoured discreetly to restrain them and said, , "' 
" Unhappy men, what is it that you are doing ? This 
is the birthday of the blessed martyr Lawrence, 
which is observed with the utmost respect by the 
whole Church, whilst you presume to profane it." 
They replied, "We cajmot always be keeping sab- 
bath : it is right that we should sometimes provide 
what IsTiecessary for our households." Bockens, 
however, who was of a fervent spirit, said, " I know that 
it is not with impunity you have allowed the pro- 
fanation of this most sacred festival, but you will find 
that all that you have wrongfully reaped will be 
consumed by fire from heaven." He had scarcely 
uttered these words when the fire of God fell from 
heaven, as he had said, and reduced to ashes the 
harvest which they had gathered. They recognized 
the truth of his accusation, and humbly entreated 
pardon, and henceforth they entertained great 
reverence for Christ's noble martyr Lawrence, and 
entrusted themselves and all that they possessed 
to his protection. 

In a town called Games a certain peasant and his 
wife had gone out to reap during the festival of Mary 
M 



174 THE LIFE OF OTTO 

the mother of God, and perpetual virgin. When he 
perceived this Bockens, the before-mentioned attend- 
ant on the man of God, moved by righteous zeal, 
expressed his disapproval and said, "Abandon your 
work, O unhappy people. It is altogether wrong 
to attend to work on this renowned festival of the 
most holy mother of God." It was the second 
festival day. They replied, " Yesterday we observed 
Sunday as a festival, to-day we must needs give 
to work." Bockens, however, answered, "To-day too 
must be observed by us with complete devotion 
in honour of the mother of our Lord whose adorable 
assumption has brought honour to Christ's universal 
Church." When they refused to listen, and went on 
obstinately with the work they had begun, the holy 
priest Bockens said, " As you do not believe my words 
your blood shall be upon your own head, and ye shall 
now by manifest proofs understand what is the 
punishment of this transgression." He had hardly 
finished speaking when the unbelieving peasant fell 
backwards and expired, and the piece of corn which 
he had clutched firmly in his hand whilst engaged in 
reaping he held on to so firmly in death that no one 
could open his hand or take the corn from it, but, 
whilst still maintaining his hold in an astonishing 
manner, he was committed to the grave. The woman, 
whose life was preserved by the intervention of 
the mother of God, was held fast in the same 
marvellous manner, and with her fingers clutching the 
corn and adhering to the palm of her hand, she 
ran trembling to Otto and with humble confession 
made known her fault and begged as a suppliant for 
pardon. She was sent by him to the Church of the 
martyr St. Adalbert, and was there made well. 
As a result of this occurrence reverence for our Lady, 
the perpetual virgin, increased in these districts as in 
every part of Christendom. 

After this a certain soldier who was afflicted with 



SECOND MISSIONARY TOUR 175 

madness made himself a burden to everyone by his 
insane shouting and the unseemly movements of 
his limbs. The companions and helpers of the 
man of God, who could not bear his distressing 
madness, caught hold of him and drew him to the 
place where the servant of the Lord was accustomed 
to pray, and to celebrate mass, for a wooden table 
had been made there. When the soldier had lain 
there for a while he was suddenly healed, and springing 
up gave thanks to God and the saintly bishop, and 
by his words and intercourse brought salvation to 
many. 

XXIII. God's elect bishop who, with the 
messengers from Stettin, was on his way to the Duke 
of Pomerania, came near to the town of Gamin. 
Here the Duke Wortizlaus met him with all his 
people and received him with due reverence as a 
messenger of God, When he had entered the church 
and had finished saying his accustomed prayers and 
hymns to God, he began to discuss the cause for 
which he had come, and, as a good pastor looking 
round upon all his sheep, he endeavoured to reunite 
to the Church in peace and unity its divided members. 
When the Duke heard the words of his holy apostle 
he received them as though they had been sent to 
him from heaven and replied kindly and humbly, " It 
is for you, beloved father, to obtain whatever you 
think fit, not by asking but by commanding. For all 
that we have are thine, for thou hast begotten us in 
Christ Jesus through the Gospel, and hast poured 
upon the darkness of our ignorance the splendour of 
the eternal sun. This people for whom you ask is a 
stiff-necked people, which fears neither God nor man, 
and has for a long time defiled my kingdom with 
rapine and robbery. But thou, my dearest pastor, 
hast tamed those who were savage, and hast changed 
wolves into lambs. Let them then through thy 
mediation enjoy henceforth the pleasures of a lasting 



176 THE LIFE OF OTTO 

peace. " The messengers from Stettin forthwith 
grovelled at his feet and utterly renounced the 
grounds of their old quarrel, and having received 
the kiss of peace from the Duke, they rendered to 
the bishop the thanks that were his due for this 
reconciliation. They then purchased the things of 
which they had need and which, when they were in a 
state of hostility, they had not obtained and returned 
with joy to their own people. 

But forasmuch as the evil always persecute the 
good, and, as Isaiah says, " He that departeth from 
evil inaketh himself a prey/' 1 the Ruthenians, 2 who 

ft were still bound in heathen error, when they heard of 
the conversion of the people of Stettin, were exceed- 
ingly angry because they had renounced their idols 

i and submitted to the Christian law without reference 
to, or consultation with them, and they feared not to 
make war upon them. When they had brought 
together their large army they occupied the river 
banks and stationed there one line of their men, who 
were equipped with noise-producing arms and who, 
with meaningless clamour, sought to find out where 
their God was and if he was able to succour those 
who called upon him. The others, however, carried 
in front of them the standard of the Lord's cross and 
put their opponents to flight at their first onslaught. 
On the following day they came back like dogs and 
again threatened war upon the Christians, but they 
were overcome in the same way and thrown into 
confusion and again turned to flight. On the third 
day, having been well-nigh exterminated, they 
exclaimed that the God of the Christians was 
unconquerable, and that if He would spare them they 
would never again attempt any rash action. The 
Christians forbore and they speedily dispersed and 
returned one by one with great fear and confusion to 
their own homes. But the bishop, who thought it 

1 Isaiah lix. 15. 2 i. e. the inhabitants of the island Rugia. 



SECOND MISSIONARY TOUR 177 

right to return good for evil, desired to teach the 
Christian laws to these Ruthenians, who had not 
feared to harass by war a newly-converted people. 
They, however, hardened themselves against him and 
on several occasions declared by their messengers 
that if any of his companions should presume to 
approach the borders of Ruthenia (Rugia), for the 
sake of preaching the gospel, their heads would be 
cut off forthwith and they should be exposed to be 
torn by wild beasts. But as it is written, " The just 
man shall be bold as a lion and free from fear," 1 so 
the holy father, in the fervour of his devotion, decided 
to scatter amongst the Ruthenians the seed of the 
faith ; nor did he fear to make trial of the ferocity of 
this unbelieving people. For, as an ardent lover of 
Christ, he had long known how to lay down his life, 
which was dear to him, for Jesus who was dearer than 
all. When he heard that the archbishop of the 
Danes, 2 who had jurisdiction over them, had been 
appointed by the apostolic Ruler as their evangelist, 
he decided that he could do nothing without his 
consent and approval. He accordingly sent a faithful 
messenger named Iwanus to the archbishop of the 
Danes to inquire carefully whether, in accordance 
with the command of the apostolic Ruler, he would 
arrange to hand on the saving word to the Ruthenians, 
or whether he preferred that he should himself under- 
take the task of their evangelization in his behalf. 
In accordance with his usual liberal custom he sent by 
this messenger to the bishop of the Danes, some new 
balsam and a valuable stole. Iwanus returned at 
length after a space of six weeks and brought the 
reply of the archbishop, which was to the effect that 
he proposed to consider together with the chiefs and 
elders of his country, what their decision in regard to 
these matters should be, and that he would let him 
know as quickly as possible by means of a trusty 

1 Prov. jqcviii. i. 2 /. e, Ascerus, archiepiscopus Lundensis, 



178 THE LIFE OF OTTO 

messenger. The archbishop sent as a gift to our good 
father a small boat filled with butter. 

[H. XXX. This people (the Ruthenians), although 
on many occasions they were invited by different 
preachers to accept the faith, were never willing to do 
so as a body, but, whilst some believed, others did not 
believe. For the most part they lived according to 
pagan rites, and by choking like thorns the seeds of 
faith they did not suffer therfl to develop. Ruthenia 
is adjacent to the country of the Danes, and ought to 
be subject to the Danish archbishop. But when a 
people is engaged in spreading the catholic faith 
it is unnecessary for priests to quarrel over parish 
boundaries. As their hatred gradually increased the 
Ruthenians began to offer open opposition to the 
people of Stettin. First of all they kept their ships 
from their own shores, and later on by a unanimous 
decision they resolved that they should be regarded 
as enemies, and, as they had heard that Bishop Otto 
was to come to them for the purpose of preaching, 
they commanded him that he should never approach 
their territory. For they said that he would find 
with them nothing but bitter punishment and certain 
death. When Otto received this message he silently 
rejoiced and prepared himself for martyrdom, and he 
thought out and arranged everything and debated 
anxiously with himself whether he ought to go alone 
or accompanied by others to this feast. Now there 
were at Julin amongst the followers of the bishop some 
good and prudent men from Stettin who knew the 
several districts and the customs of this race. The 
bishop questioned these for some time, as he desired 
to learn whether they would be willing to conduct him 
thither. They, however, told him much concerning 
the origin of the Ruthenian race, the fierceness of 
their dispositions, the instability of their faith, and 
their bestial conversation : they told him also that 



SECOND MISSIONARY TOUR 179 

they ought to be subject to the Danish archbishop. 
The bishop trusted that their conversion, if it could 
be secured, would be pleasing to the archbishop, and 
at the same time he considered that it was fitting that 
he should obtain his licence and permission before 
going to preach in his jurisdiction. Accordingly he 
sent from where he was the venerable priest Iwanus 
and some other messengers in a boat with letters 
and gifts to ask for his permission to preach. The 
archbishop received them with the greatest joy and 
respect and treated them with the utmost kindness, 
asking them many questions concerning the position, 
the teaching and the work of the blessed Otto. He 
was a good and honest man and loved to hear of 
things that were good : he was also learned and 
devout, though externally he possessed the rustic 
manners of the Slavonians. For it was the case with 
all the men of that country that, whilst living in pros- 
perity and wealth, they seemed harsh, uncultivated and 
rustic. Their towns and camps had no walls or 
towers and were defended with woodwork and ditches. 
The churches too and the houses of the chief men 
were humble and poorly designed. The men's 
pursuits were hunting, fishing, or the tending of cattle, 
and their whole wealth consisted of these last, for 
there was but little cultivation of the fields. In regard 
to food and dress they were by no means luxurious of- ' 
elegant. Even our middle^class people were ostenta- 
tious when compared with tnem, and the priest 
Iwanus appeared to be a more important person than 
the archbishop himself. And as he was a man of 
good speech and answered all inquiries in a careful 
manner, he pleased the archbishop much, and he could 
not hear enough concerning Otto. For he had been 
known to him by report for many years and he was 
now glad and proud that he had present with him the 
worthy and distinguished messengers of the bishop, 
whose great and noble deeds he had heard spoken of 



i8o THE LIFE OF OTTO 

in all directions. Regarding the message sent to 
him he said that he could make no reply till, after a 
certain delay, he had consulted the chiefs and principal 
men amongst the Danes. Iwanus and the messengers, 
thinking that this would occupy a long time, asked 
that they might be sent away, as they feared that the 
bishop might be distressed at their delay. He very 
kindly agreed and he sent to the bishop letters, gifts 
and a fairly large boat filled with butter as a sign of 
affection and friendship, and said that he would 
consult with the chiefs as quickly as possible, and send 
a reply by his own messengers to his statement. 
Whether he spoke falsely or candidly we did not 
discover, for, whilst we were spending several days 
awaiting his messengers, additional messengers from 
the district of Alamania and from the house at 
Bamberg arrived, who desired the return of the bishop 
for great and urgent reasons, 

XXXI. On many occasions the Ruthenians had 
reviled the men of Stettin and had assailed their 
territory with armed ships. After they had been once 
again repulsed and would not abandon their attacks, 
the men of Stettin began with one accord to arm 
themselves and to meet those who came against them 
with united forces. Why say more ? The Ruthenians 
were scattered with so great a slaughter and so many 
of them were taken away as slaves that those who 
were able to escape made no further attack upon the 
victors. The men of Stettin, elated by this victory, 
rendered honour to the Lord Jesus Christ and to His 
servant Otto. They no longer feared the Ruthenians, 
but having taken them as captives they forced upon 
them a humiliating and unworthy compact.] 

XXIV. In the meantime the renowned King 
Lotharius and the other chiefs, being distressed at the 
prolonged absence of Otto, who had been wont more 
than any other bishop of that time by his counsels 



SECOND MISSIONARY TOUR 181 

and deeds to render his kingdom famous, in virtue of 
their authority over him begged and commanded him 
to return as quickly as possible. The king, who 
dearly loved him, even affirmed on oath that he 
would take back into his own ownership the property 
belonging to the Church, if the good pastor, by 
his much-desired return, failed very soon to console 
and reinvigorate his spouse the Church of Bamberg, 
which had so long been widowed. The apostle of 
Pomerania was unable to offer any resistance to these 
messages and was forced to return to his own place 
before he received the reply of the Danish arch- 
bishop. 

When he had visited and confirmed in the faith the 
faithful who lived round about and had commended 
them to Christ in whom they had believed, he set out 
on his journey with his companions. When he had 
made progress on his journey and had reached 
Polonia, the Duke Boleslav, who was an old friend, 
received him with due honour and respect and 
detained him with him in the metropolitan church of 
Gnezna, and with such great eagerness did he listen to 
his mellifluous teaching that when eight days had 
passed, he was reluctant to allow the beloved father 
to depart. When at length by the help of Christ 
the long-protracted travels of His messenger were 
completed, the new apostle of our time made glad by 
his coming his own church on the vigil of St. Thomas 
the Apostle, when all the people, clergy and laity, 
and persons of both sexes ran together and received 
him as a messenger of God. With what indescribable 
delight and spiritual joy did the believers in Christ, 
to whom in a special sense the holy bishop had been 
a father and a nurse, receive their pastor as though 
he had been restored from the grave after his long- 
continued wanderings, and after he had gained a new 
flock for the supreme Father of all ! What a delight 
it was to see and hear so great a multitude of Christ's 



182 THE LIFE OF OTTO 

soldiers, which included not only regular clergy but 
also monks, imbued with the same ardour and 
devotion and with tears of spiritual joy singing 
melodiously as they met him, " O Lord, receive me so 
that I may be with my brethren with whom thou hast 
called me." Very appropriate were these beautiful 
words of the apostle St. John, whom Otto had specially 
chosen as his patron, and to whom in his secret prayers 
he daily commended himself and his own death, 
words which were sung to him with joyful hearts and 
lips by all his sons as he returned in triumph after 
his second apostolic journey. For this blessed one, 
mindful of the word of the Lord who spake by the 
prophet, " Whoso glorifieth me, him will I glorify, 
and they that despise me shall have no glory," l 
honourably and dutifully displayed to God and His 
saints the zeal which other bishops and chiefs 
bestowed on earthly gains and on the building of 
castles and towns. His zeal was displayed in the 
building of churches, in the foundation of new cells 
for the faithful, and in adorning by noble gifts those 
that had been constructed by others, as he desired to 
erect habitations which might not presently fall 
because they had been built upon sand, but might 
endure for ever because they had been built upon 
firm rock. 

XXV. One of our brethren, the holy priest Lip- 
poldus, five years before the falling asleep of our 
blessed father, was counted worthy to see a vision in 
which the Lord revealed to him the glory of the 
building which Otto had accomplished. He saw, as 
he directed his gaze over against the east, a certain 
lofty mountain which contained all manner of 
delights. Its beautiful summit he was unable to 
ascend, but standing below he saw a great multitude 
of people of both sexes and of all ages engaged 
in drawing over the top of the mountain vast 

1 I Sam. ii. 30. 



SECOND MISSIONARY TOUR 183 

numbers of precious stones, and they exulted greatly 
and sung together with sweet voices a delightful song 
which he was not able to understand. Redrew near, 
albeit with halting step, and called one of the singers 
who was distinguished for his venerable appearance, 
and asked what this multitude was and why they 
were drawing these precious stones towards the 
summit of the mountain. He replied, " We are 
those who received charity and kindness from the 
holy Otto, and we are therefore building a costly 
house for him on the crest of this mountain." To 
him Lippoldus said, " And when will this house 
be completed?" He answered, "After five years; 
when the house is completed we shall bring him to it 
with joy and exultation. But beware that thou 
declare not this to him before the five years are 
completed." When he had said this the vision was 
taken away from him. We heard this from the 
mouth of this old man Lippoldus at the time when 
our blessed father fell asleep. He fell asleep worn 
out with grevious and long-protracted sickness on the 
seventh day before the Ides of August and rested in 
the Lord after making a happy end. 

To return to earlier events, our holy father Otto, 
when he returned after his long travel, visited, as his 
custom was, those of us with whom he was of one 
heart and soul and inquired which of us during 
his absence had gone the way of all flesh. He was 
ever wont to make this inquiry in fatherly fashion 
when he returned from any journey. At that time 
Adalbert the almoner of sacred memory, who was a 
true servant of God and a great friend of his, and 
whom he had served with indefatigable mind and 
body, had migrated to Christ. When the blessed 
man heard of his departure he burst into tears and 
exclaimed that he was unfortunate because he had 
not been counted worthy to perform the funeral rites 
for so blessed a soul when he migrated to the land of 



i84 THE LIFE OF OTTO 

eternal light. This same brother Adalbert was 
inflamed with so great a fire of divine love that 
he sighed and shed many tears day by day for the 
pleasures of the celestial country, while his body 
grew correspondingly thinner as a result of his 
fasting and watching. The care of the poor had been 
entrusted to this servant of God, who acted with 
so great humility and devotion that, like the monk 
Martirius, to whom St. Gregory refers, 1 he would 
carry lepers on his shoulders, and lepers and others, 
who were afflicted with various diseases and whom it 
was horrible to behold, he would gladly tend and 
bathe with his own hands. The holy Otto rejoiced 
at hi-s fervour and supplied liberally all that was 
needed in ministering to the multitudes who were in 
need. Nor was he content in doing this, but in time 
of famine he ministered to the poor himself, in order 
that he might present a sacrifice acceptable to 
God, not only by the offering of gifts but by the 
sweat of his own body. 

When, owing to the extent of the famine, an 
innumerable number of people came to him from 
every district, some who were stronger snatched with 
violence the food from the hands of those who were 
weaker. The holy man, who could not bear their 
cries and complaint?, acted with great prudence and 
gave orders to his companions that when the people 
began to assemble they should first gather together 
those who were stronger and shut them up in a dining- 
hall till he had with his own hands provided suitable 
food for the weak and infirm. He then ordered 
these to retire and to go at once to a distance so that 
when their companions came from the dining-hall, 
they should not again become a prey to them. After 
this he went in to the poor people who were shut up 
and gave them a bountiful supply of food, and at the 
same time told them that they should not again treat 

1 -5". Gregorii in cvangclia, L. II. Homilia 39, c. 10, 



SECOND MISSIONARY TOUR 185 

their own brethren with violence. Such was his 
conduct amongst his own people. To Christ's poor 
who lived beyond his country and across the sea 
he showed his liberality by means of faithful messen- 
gers. By the hands of our beloved brother Eberhard, 
who was still fighting for Christ in the ranks of the 
regular clergy, he sent presents to Jerusalem, as he 
was wont to do for those good men who visited 
the Lord's sepulchre. But the largest sum of money 
that he sent was despatched through our brother 
Swigger during a time of famine to the Hirsaugien 
and other still more distant monasteries, and thus 
was the good odour of Christ diffused in every 
place. 1 

XXVI. When then in a good old age the course of 
this present life had been completed and the time 
drew near that the faithful steward of the supreme 
Father should enter into the joy of his Lord, the holy 
Otto was vehemently afflicted with bodily pain and 
with loss of blood in order that, having been purified 
like gold in the furnace of sickness, he might become 
worthy to enter the hall into which nothing that is 
defiled may enter. He being mindful of the Scripture 
which saith, "Whom the Lord loveth He reproveth," 2 
and of another place in which the Lord Himself saith, 
" Those whom I love I censure and chasten," 3 gave 
thanks amidst his sickness and, desiring greatly to 
behold the King of glory in His beauty, as day by day 
he breathed with difficulty, he commended his 
departure to God and St. Michael and the apostle St. 
John, whom he had chosen as his special patrons. 
And as he, who was the great light of the Church, 
began to be dulled by infirmity, he brought upon the 
Christians who had ever been cared for by his kindness 
and forethought an immeasurable cloud of sorrow and 
distress. The holy father, however, as far as he was 
able, sought to wipe away by consoling words the 

1 Cf. 2 Cor. ii. 15. 2 Prov. Hi. 12. 3 Rev. iii. 19. 



iS6 THE LIFE OF OTTO 

tears of his sons. So completely did he compel his 
limbs that were wearied with disease to become subject 
to his spirit that, except on the day of his death, he 
never lay down on a couch, but sat day by day in his 
own place, walking sometimes with the help of a 
stick, singing psalms and praying and being occasion- 
ally anointed with the oil reserved for the sick, not 
while lying down, but while sitting. When then the 
most sacred festival of the apostles Peter and Paul 
drew near, the bishop, seeing that the day of his 
summons was at hand, called Egilbert the deacon of 
the larger church who succeeded him as bishop. 1 In 
the presence of the abbots and priests who were 
standing by he commended to him all that he 
possessed, and said, " This is the birthday of Peter, 
my lord and chief of the apostles, and of Paul. I pray 
that you will offer the things that God has given me 
to Peter so that he may himself deign to open to me 
the gate of the celestial kingdom, and with his col- 
league Paul, the teacher of the Gentiles, may speedily 
lead me into that kingdom. Tend the place where I 
shall rest, that is the hill of my patron the archangel 
Michael, as though it were myself, and for the comfort 
of my soul keep constant watch over its progress both 
in spiritual and in temporal matters. For ye know 
how poor and base and destitute of all monastic 
activity this place was found by me and how, by the 
help of God through the agency of my ministry, it 
has advanced to so great a height in the spiritual life, 
so that it is now regarded by all as the standard and 
ornament of all the monasteries in this district. God 
grant that this reputation may continue untarnished to 
the end, and to all who keep faith and reverence may 
He grant unending peace and blessing here. For the 
rest I commend your love and my whole flock to the 
Chief Pastor who has deigned to commit you to my 

1 He was bishop from 1139 to 1146. 



SECOND MISSIONARY TOUR 187 

care ; may He himself mark you for me as complete 
in the repose of His eternal light." 

When he had given them his blessing, which was 
accompanied by tears that witnessed his fatherly love, 
he sent them away. When he had received the 
mystery of salvation which was the provision for his 
journey, 1 he continued watching and praying in order 
that he might open with joy to his Lord when He 
should knock and call. In the time in which the 
festival of the apostle St. Peter was being celebrated, 
when his body was already dead and he was about to 
breathe his last, in heart and will he was intent upon 
the praise of God, and when the clergy were performing 
their morning service of praise in his presence, with 
raised hands and eyes uplift in eager desire, he took 
part in what was being read and gave thanks to God 
with what voice he possessed. Thus the holy Otto 
on the sixth day 2 at the first hour of the day rendered 
up his spirit to God and entered into the enjoyment 
of the abodes of the blessed and of Christ whom he 
had ever so greatly loved. 

And now did swift-travelling rumour, the herald of 
so great a grief, 3 smite with indescribable grief, not 
only the neighbouring monasteries but others which 
were at a distance and which had been constantly 
provided by him with the necessaries of life. Nor 
was their grief without cause. For when the Lord 
took away their beloved father He had shown His 
people hard things. He had made them drink of the 
wine of sorrow 4 and had made them drunk with 
absinthe. 5 Under his protection and with the help of 
his alms the Church had flourished and had enjoyed 
peace for a long period during which monastic life 
had advanced daily towards perfection. What patron 

1 Viaticum. 2 June 30. 

3 et jam fama volans, tanti praenuncia luctus. The words are quoted 
from Virgil, A en. xi. 139. * 

4 Ps. lix. 5. 6 Lam. iii 15. 



i88 THE LIFE OF OTTO 

would there be henceforth to solace Christ's poor? 
He could rightly say with the apostle, "Who is weak 
and I am not weak ? Who is offended and I burn 
not?" 1 Who ever came to him in sadness and did 
not go away rejoicing ? Who ever sought aid of him 
in trouble and did not obtain it? It was therefore 
with good reason that the Church lamented his 
departure, inasmuch as it had been made glad by his 
life. But faith in the resurrection checks our tears, 
though it extracts a groan, for we experience a sacred 
exultation in view of his glory, though we have a 
holy grief in view of his departure. Those who weep 
may be forgiven, those who rejoice may be congratu- 
lated, for it is good to rejoice for Otto and it is good 
to weep for Otto, for each one shows that it is on his 
own account that he laments, whilst he owes it to him 
that he can rejoice. 

His revered body was tended by pious men and 
treated with spices and was carried.from one monastery 
to another and honoured by watchings and by celebra- 
tions of the mass. It was finally received with fitting 
honour at the hill of St. Michael the archangel who 
was his special patron, and was laid there in the 
church which he had rebuilt from the foundation and 
enlarged after it had fallen into ruin through age. An 
incredible multitude of men assembled there for the 
funeral ceremony. The whole town hastened to meet 
the body, all came from the fields and neighbouring 
villages and many from other towns and districts. 
How great was the universal grief! Specially great 
were the lamentations of the monks and of Christ's 
poor, who had for so long rested peacefully like 
chickens under the wings of their holy father, and 
who regarded themselves as deprived of the much- 
loved presence of their supporter and as stripped of 
their defence. 

1 2 Cor. xi. 29. 



SECOND MISSIONARY TOUR 189 

It is impossible to describe without a groan how 
when the priests brought the sacred body to the choir 
of St. Michael to be buried, when they came to the 
threshold the precentor uttered the antiphon, " O 
Lord, receive me," and the lamentations of all present 
broke forth to such an extent that even the bearers of 
the coffin, overcome with weeping, bent down and 
nearly fell prostrate. The mass was then celebrated 
by the venerable bishop Imbrico of Wurtzburg. The 
bishop in a pleasing discourse addressed to the 
people his words were as the sound of thunder- 
adapted to the person of the holy Otto the testimony 
of the prophet Jeremiah who said, " The Lord hath 
called thee a rich, beautiful, fruitful and fair olive ; " 1 
and by the sweetness of his honeyed discourse he won 
the admiration of all so that they believed that the 
Holy Spirit had spoken by his mouth. In this 
manner was the body of the beloved father placed in 
the tomb in front of the altar of St. Michael the 
archangel, which from that time forward was con- 
stantly tended by the devotion of the faithful. And 
lest the attached flock of this most vigilant pastor 
should be deprived of its treasures, even his intestines, 
after they had been treated with aromatic spices, were 
cut out and placed in an urn and committed to the 
ground in the midst of the chapel of the Mother of 
God. They were marked too with a round stone so 
that when the brethren came thither to perform the 
duties of divine service by night and by day, they 
might have the memory of their beloved before their 
eyes and might by their constant prayers uplift his 
blessed soul to the highest heaven. 

Imbrico, bishop of blessed memory, after the 
burial of the holy Otto, continued to tend with great 
love the hill of St. Michael. With sighs of grief he 
was wont to declare that he had never beheld equal 

1 Jer. xi. 16 



1 90 THE LIFE OF OTTO 

glory attached to any other relics, and that the 
people of Bamberg were to be regarded as blessed, 
inasmuch as after the death of their pastor they had 
shown by convincing proofs with what ardent love 
they had ever clung to him when he was alive. 



INDEX 



ADALBERT, missionary in Prussia, 
21 

, interpreter to Otto, 30, 140, 
143, 167 ; becomes bishop in 
Pomerania, 105 

the Almoner, i83f. 

, Duke, 139 

- , Church of St., at Julin, 92, 
109, 162, 164, 174; Church of, 
at Stettin, nof. 

Alamania, 180 

Albea, 35 

Albwinus, interpreter to Otto, 120, 
129, 134 

Andreas, Life of Otto by, 9, 12 

Bamberg, See of, 3, 23, 97, 105 ; 

fire at, 91 

Bambergensis, Codex, 13 
Baptisms at Pyritz and Stettin, 7 
Belgrada (Belgard), roof. 
Benedict, Bishop of Camin, 12 
Berchrada, 31 
Bernhard, Bishop, 19-23 
Berthrada, 149 
Bockens, a companion of Otto, 



Bohemia, 105 
Boleslav J., 4 

III., Duke of Polonia, 4, 18, 

20, 26 ff., 35 ff., 104, 144, 181 ; 

letter written by, 74 f. 
Bolezlaus, Duke of Polonia. See 

Boleslav. 

Botonstein. See Lapidi Boton. 
Bratizlaus. See Wortizlaus. 
Breslau. See Bretlaen. 
Bretlaen (Breslau), 35 



Calixtus, Pope, 28, 38, 86 
Camin, Benedict, bishop of, 12. 

See Gamin. 
Camina. See Gamin. 
Caminensis, Codex, 13 
Celts in Pomerania, 4. 
Chamin. See Gamin. 
Chozegow. See Gozgougia. 
Clement III., Pope, 9 
Clergy, Foreign, in Pomerania, 7 
Clodona, 100, 102 
Colberg, Reinbern, Bishop of, 4 
Colobrega, 101 
Conrad at Nurenberg, 96 
Continae, Meaning of word, 77 
Cunrad of Bamberg, 97 

Dacia, 18 

Danes, Piratical expeditions of, 
112 

Demmin. See Timina. 
Dietricus, 134 

Dionysius the Areopagite, 148. 
Domizlaus, guide to Otto, 61 

, a nobleman in Stettin, 66 ff., 

72 n. 

Eberhard, 185 
Ebo, 2 n., 9-13 
Egidius, 19, 23 
Egilbert, deacon, 186 
Ellenhard, 168 
Erenbach, Werinher of, 30 
Erlangen, Library at, 13 

Flavia. See Livonia. 
Friday, Obligation to observe, 47, 
86 



191 



1 9 2 



INDEX 



Games, town in Pomerania, 173 
Gamin (Chamin, Camina), 53, 55, 

57, 61, 100, 175 
Gebhard of Waldeck, 33 
George, St., patron of Priifling 

monastery, 92 
Gerovit, an idol, 116, 135 
Giesebrecht, r e Life of Otto, 9 f. 
Gnezna, 35 f., 181 
Godebold, companion of Otto, 36 
Gozgougia (Giitzkow, Chozegow), 

101, 136, 139 

Gregory of Nazianzus, quotation 

from, 19 n. 
Gregory, St., 184 
Growze, 115 
Giitzkow. See Gozgougia, 101. 

Haag, G., ve Life of Otto, 10 
Habala, 1 21 

Habelberg, diocese of, 1 16 
Halla, 121 

Hartwic. Bishop of Ratisbon, 34 
Heimo, priest in Bamberg, 23 
Helmericus, Abbot, n 
Henry, founder of Bamberg, 91 
Henry V., Visit of, to Rome, 3 n. 
Herbordus, Life of Otto by, 9-13 
Hermann, Abbot, 167 
Hermann, a companion of Otto, 

89 

Hermann and Frederic, 97 
Hermes, St., at Bamberg, 91 
Herold, companion of Otto, 36 
Hilhmus, a priest, 63, 65 
Hologost (Wolgast), 101, 129, 

132, 137 
Honorius II., 79, 115 

Imbrico, bishop of Wurtzburg, 

189 
Iwanus, a companion of Otto, 177, 

179 

Jaffe, Ye Life of Otto, 9 
James, bishop of Guezna, 36 
John, a priest in Pomerania, 136 
Judith, sister of Henry IV., 2 
Julin (Wollin), 20, 60 f., 68, 84 f., 

102, 107, 171 ; Fire at, io8f. 
Juritsch, ve Life of Otto, 9 



Kirchberg, 115 
Kladrau, Monastery at, 34 
Klempin, ve Life of Otto, 9 
Koepke, ve Life of Otto, 9 
Kolberg, 100 

LaHislaus, Duke of Bohemia, 34, 

104 

Lapidi Boton (Botonstein), 97 
Lawrence, Feast of St., 173 
Leuchtenberg, 33 n. 
Leuticia, 18, 86, 121 
Leuticians, 1191". 
Lippoldus, priest, i82f. 
Livonia, 18 
Lotharius, King, 117, 119, 125, 

147, 167, 1 80 

Magdeburg, 116, 118, 167 
Manuscripts of Otto's Life, 13 f. 
Martirius, monk, 184 
Mauricius, St., Feast of, 96 
Meginhard, bishop of Prague, 35 
Merseburg, 117, 124 
Michael, St., Monastery of, 3, 

10 ff., 32 f. 

Michelfeld. See St. Michael. 
Miracles attributed to Otto and 

his companions, 8, 55, 58, 81, 

140, 157, 159 f., 172-5 
Mizlaus, Duke, 140, 144 
Monacensis, Codex, 13 
Muchelen (Mucheln), 116, 139 

Nacla, 76 ; destroyed by Boleslav, 

26 

Nedamirus, 66, 68 
Nienstein, Fortress of, 97 
Noribert, Archbishop of Magde- 
burg, 116 ff. 
Nurenberg, 96 

Oder, R., 60 

Otto, parentage and education, 

2 ff. ; Bishop of Bamberg, 3 ; 

His methods of action, 5 ; 

Canonization of, 9 ; Lives of, 9, 

I4f. ; Letters by, 12 

Paulicius, a centurion, 37, 39, 

42 ff., 62 ff., 68, 74 
Pene, R., 123 



INDEX 



Piriscus. See Pjrissa. 

Polonia, 18 

Pomerania, 103 : Meaning of the 

word, 17; productions of, 18; 

devastated by Boleslav, 26 
Pozen, Diocese of, 35 
Prague, 34. 
Prufling, monk, gf. 
Pyrissa (Pyritz), 7, 41 ff., 53 ff. 

Ratisbon, Hartwic, bishop of, 34 

Regenheresthorf (Reinsdorf), 116 

Reinbern, bishop of Colberg, 4 

Reinsdorf. See Regenheresthorf. 

Richa, a sister at Kladrau, 34 

Rostal, 97 

Rugia, Island of, 177, 140 n. 

Ruthenia, 177 f. 

Ruthenians, 26, 140, i76ff., 180 

Sacraments, The seven, 50-52 
Sadska. See Seizkea. 
Scheidungen. See Schidingen. 
Schidingen (Scheidlmgen), 116, 

139 

Schmalchalten (Smalkalten), 98 

Sefrid, a companion of Otto, 31 f. 

Seizkea (Sadska), Abbey of, 35 

Slavs in Pomerania, 4 

Smalkalten. See Schmalchalten. 

Stettin, 61, 65 f., 68 ff., 78 ff., 102, 
107. f., no, 152, 154, 166, 168, 
1 80; library at, 13; massacre 
at, 26 

Svvigger, 185 

Theodeiic a priest, 135 
Timina (Demmin), 101, 119, 
121 f., 124 



Triglav, Image of, 79, 88 ff., 

162 
Turestat (Tierstat, Twerstat), 106 

Ucranians, 147, 149 

Udalricus, companion of Otto, 19, 

23 f., 29 ff., 129, 135, 146 ff., 

156, 166 

Usedom. See Uznoim. 
Uzda (Uscz) on R. Netze, 38 
Uznoim (Usedom), 115, 121, 

123 f., 140, 168 

Vines introduced by Otto into 

Pomerania, 103 
Vohenstrauss, Church at, 34 
Vratizlaus. See Woitizlaus. 

Walburga, Church of St., 29 
Waldeck, Gebhard of, 33 
Wendelmuot, 31, 149 
Weneslaus, St., Church of, at 

Julin, 92 
Werinter, a priest from Ehren- 

bach, 30 

Wignand, Abbot, 95, 98 f. 
Whikind, ii6f. 
Witscacus, 112-114, 158, 163 
Wolgast. See Hologost. 
Wol'lin. See Julin. 
Wortizlaus, Duke of Pomerania, 

6, 55, 126, 168 
Wulfram II., Abbot, 8, 24, 99 
Wurtzburg, Imbrico, bishop of, 

189 

Zaroes and Arfaxat, 88 
Zitarigroda, Town of, 38 



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